It’s only safe to assume that a person would start with a better understood, safer, less harsh, easier to acquire drug to see if they enjoy its effects. This could possibly lead to them experimenting with other drugs in the future that are way worse. Statistics say what they do. There is evidence that suggests smoking marijuana will cause a person to experiment with other illicit drugs.
Those campaigning for the legalization of marijuana suggest that there is a medicinal value in marijuana. There is no proof of this. The only hope they have is that THC, the key element in marijuana, is also available in prescription drugs but tends to not be prescribed because there are many other remedies which provide its therapeutic agents more effectively. Marijuana has 30 times more carcinogens than cigarettes and 50% more tar than tobacco. Flat out marijuana is worse for you than cigarettes.
Instead of spending billions on catching “regular smokers” of those interested in getting medicinal benefits we should spend billions on catching growers and dealers and put them in prison. $42 billion is wasted on the people who use it regularly. The new FBI stats show an all-time record 829,627 marijuana arrests in 2006, 43,000 more than in 2005. Arrests for marijuana possession, not sales or trafficking, just possession totaled 738,916. There were 611,523 arrests last year for all violent crimes combined.
Calculations on U.S. government show that marijuana in the U.S. is a $113 billion dollar business. That's a lot of activity that is unregulated and untaxed because it's entirely off the books. The cost of marijuana laws goes far beyond lost tax revenues and money spent on law enforcement.