O.K................I've avoided this thread until now. You cannot say weed leads to more dangerous drugs because you know a few people who have died or sustained brain damage from harder drugs. I know people who've never done anything other than pot and are not using now who are highly successful people who operate multi-unit stores with revenues in the 10's of millions. I also know our president of the U.S. smoked pot. I also know people who began by drinking a beer and are now consumed with a bottle of rum every night. Some people have a propensity to continue on to the more intense high, and some do not. It does not matter the drug, be it pharmaceutical, herbal, distilled, or organic.
However, if you are busted in some of these foreign countries the penalties are severe. You may be behind bars for years with little recourse. In some Mexican jails the authorities charge you (or your family, whoever has the money) a fee for a mattress and/or pillow. You may be behind bars and paying $25 per day for a pillow and $50 per day for a mattress. When the authorities can no longer get any money out of you (or your family) they open the door and turn you loose on the street. In the mean time you have to get your own butt out of there and your belongings are still on the ship. Try getting home when you have no money.
Don't do it!