Marijuana has a history of being cri琀cized as a “gateway drug,” meaning it’s the first step on a path leading to more potent and addic琀ve narco琀cs. Dr. Joseph Rosado, an Orlando internist and qualified medical marijuana physician, passionately disputes that claim, dismissing it as an orchestrated lie that has been perpetuated since the early 1900s to demonize cannabis.

If marijuana is a gateway to anything, he counters, it’s a life with less dependence on pharmaceu琀cal drugs.

“For years, we’ve been lied to in believing that cannabis is a gateway drug when in reality it has proven to be an ‘exit drug,’ geng you away from all of these medica琀ons that cause greater harm than good,” says Dr. Rosado. “Cannabis is not addic琀ve. There is no proof that it shows that it is physiologically addic琀ve.

Contrary to heroin, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, that every 琀me you use them you need a higher dose to get the same effect; it doesn’t work that way with cannabis.”

Dr. Rosado’s experiences with his pa琀ents can a琀est to his insistence that cannabis is an “exit drug.”

One of Dr. Rosado’s pa琀ents suffered from several afflic琀ons, including fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism (underac琀ve thyroid), migraine headaches and seizures. To get through a day the pa琀ent took a buffet of prescrip琀on medica琀ons, 42 to 58 pills, including addic琀ve painkillers.

A昀er the pa琀ent obtained a medical marijuana card from the state, Dr. Rosado “recommended” she begin following a cannabis­based regimen. Over months 琀me her physical and mental health improved as she used fewer and fewer medica琀ons, and was down to three pills a day.

Dr. Rosado says he’s seen similar results in hundreds of his medical marijuana

pa琀ents, young and old from the 7­year­ old with epilepsy to the 104­year­old with Parkinson’s. But such successes would be unlikely for anyone trying to self­medicate with street­level marijuana, he warns.

“They should find one of the 2,300 physicians in the state of Florida who are cer琀fied to recommend medical cannabis, make an appointment with them and have a sit down face­to­face conversa琀on, per state law. If their health situa琀on qualifies, the physician will put them in the state medical marijuana registry and get them on the road to health.”

For more informa琀on on qualifying condi琀ons that can be treated with medical marijuana under Florida law, visit h琀ps://

Watch MMERI’s Conversa琀ons on Cannabis Virtual Forum featuring Dr. Joseph Rosado on YouTube. Visit MMERI’s website at h琀p://