When it is said and done, it really doesn't matter, which study you want to believe.
Alcohol and marijuana are both gateway substances for kids and young adults.
Earlier this month, a Journal of School Health article indicated that alcohol was the primary substance that led young users towards other drugs.
For the study, researchers crunched the numbers of the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey.
It indicated that alcohol, and not marijuana, was the culprit that ultimately led teens and young adults to harder drugs like prescription drugs, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and heroin.
This week, Yale University researchers released a study that indicates that marijuana may be more of a gateway drug.
The research focused on the numbers from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) studies from 2006, 2007, and 2008.
The Yale researchers looked at 55,000 18- to 25-year-olds.
Nearly 6,500, about 12 percent, reported that they were abusing prescription opioids.
Of the group abusing these drugs, about 57 percent had used alcohol and 34 percent had used marijuana.
The study found that, among both men and women, those who had used marijuana were 2.5 times more likely than those their age who abstained to later dabble in prescription drugs.
Based on both studies we can safely say that neither alcohol nor marijuana is the sole gateway to harder drug use.
But it gives parents a pretty good indication that alcohol and marijuana use can be extremeley detrimental to teens, and could lead to future drug abuse.
Parents need to wise up about the "rite of passage" of 18-year-olds drinking.
They also need to be aware that a teen turning 18 and getting a medical marijuana card is akin to a teen turning 16 and getting their driver's license.
I've spoken with dispensary owners and workers.
They say that a bulk of their patients is younger, between 18 and 21.
Parents also need to lose the "not my kid" mindset.
As we've seen and heard from the accounts of the drug-abusing survivors in Jodi Barber and Christine Brant's "Overtaken," good kids made bad choices and before they knew it, their addiction was out of control.