OpinionPolitics

Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Deadly Violence

 Irresponsible Liberal Politics Multiplying Disaster

In the last several days beginning May 31, both Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham on Fox News have featured expert testimony on the link between marijuana, psychosis, and violent behavior. Mass shootings at schools, churches, and other venues seem to be epidemic.

Laura Ingraham, Fox News. Public Domain photo.

Ingraham suggested that the terrible shooting tragedies in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, might be explained by marijuana induced mental illness, which has a frequent pattern of deadly violence. Ingraham may have had some specific information on this, but this has not yet been firmly established. But the tremendous stir in the mainstream liberal media over her remarks suggests a coordinated coverup.  Following the May 31 program by Ingraham, the internet attacks against her were a hurricane of derogatory insults and arrogant dismissals of any implication that marijuana might in any way be an underlying factor in these shootings. Their very intensity indicated a strong vested interest in the profitable expansion of the marijuana industry, especially “recreational” marijuana.

 

Much of the financial support and propaganda for commercializing high-potency marijuana products in the United States come from George Soros’s Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Soros has spent over $100 million in this endeavor. The Cannabis industry, media, and various levels of government undoubtedly hope to suppress any thinking or facts that indicate marijuana is a serious contributing cause of the growing wave of violence that threatens our schools, churches, sports arenas, and streets. The politicians and media prefer to blame such violence on guns and ignore the deeper causes shattering so many lives, families, and communities.  However, it is in the public interest to know the facts, many of which are clearly ugly, in evaluating the economic, cultural, and political desirability of the marijuana industry and especially “recreational marijuana.”

 

THC (delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabol) is the neurotoxic chemical in marijuana that causes euphoria, hallucinations, and delusions.  It is extremely important to know that the THC content of a “joint” in 1970 averaged about 2 percent. Over 10 percent is considered dangerous, but even low amounts are dangerous at high frequency or over long periods, especially for teens and younger adults. Yet the average THC content is now over 12 percent, and some marijuana edible “candy’ runs 20 to 30 percent. This is having tragic consequences.

 

Many states are foolishly rushing into “recreational” marijuana without knowing some pretty devastating facts. The U.S. House passed a Federal Marijuana Legalization bill on April 4 by 220 to 204. It got all but two Democrat votes, and only 3 Republicans votes. It stands about 50 to 50 in the Senate. The experience of U.S. States and Western European countries confirms the obvious—that legalization and weak rules will dramatically expand marijuana use and thus all its ugly outcomes. The public is crying for safety, but Biden’s proposed gun restrictions and kicking the Second Amendment under the rug will expand, nor reduce, violence. Opening the Pandora’s Box of Recreational Marijuana will multiply the pain and violence still more.

 

How much worse will it get?  Judging from the gathered statistics of pharmacologist Dr. Christine L Miller (Marijuana: The Science and the Experiment, 2016), we will be lucky if the pain and violence only double over the next few years. In this 30-minute video available on YouTube, she pointed out the European experience. European nations legalizing marijuana had three-fold the teenage marijuana use of those who severely restricted it. The most liberal, the Netherlands had a teenage usage of 20 percent, while Norway, which carefully designs its social policies, had only two percent teenage usage.

 

The number of mass shootings in the United States is exploding, and the grim statistics are showing a disproportionate number of the shooters are teenage and young adult males with a record of early and heavy marijuana use. Study after study—medical, psychological, physiological, pharmacological, and law enforcement —are showing that the THC chemical in marijuana damages the brain. The more frequent and larger the doses the more the damage and permanency. This is particularly dangerous to teens, because the human brain does not fully mature until about age 25. The last mental facility to be fully mature is judgement, and the second latest is the emotional system. (Dr. Eric Voth, et al. 2021)

 

A study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences by M. H Meier and others in 2012, found that Marijuana negatively affects many brain functions, including memory, focus, attention, behavior inhibition, planning, organization, and anticipation. Chronic usage can lead to learning problems and academic and professional failures. This study showed heavy and regular use of marijuana by teenagers can cause a loss of IQ of almost 10 points, which may not be reversible.  It is also associated with a general lethargy characterized by a loss of motivation, ambition, purpose, and priorities. Health professionals term this “Amotivational Syndrome.”

 

About 11 percent of marijuana users will slide into addiction. These risks increase considerably for teenage users. About 17 percent of those who try it show signs of addiction, and the risks of dependence jump to 25 to 50 percent for those who use it on a daily basis.  Some people are much more vulnerable than others with genetics accounting for about 50 percent of addictions. Marijuana is often the gateway to other drugs later in life.

 

According to the National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI), Marijuana THC stays in your body much longer than alcohol. For heavy marijuana users,  significant THC levels can remain in the body for 5 to 13 days.

 

Moreover, hundreds studies show a strong link between marijuana induced teenage psychosis and serious personality disorders and lethal violence. One such study by M. Arendt and others in 2005 confirmed the connection between marijuana induced psychosis and subsequent spectrums of schizophrenia.

 

Dr. Norman S. Miller et al. in a March 2020 Review of [15] Cases of Marijuana Violence, found the subjects had 5 common characteristics, with most exhibiting two or three of them.  In order of frequency they were aggressive violence, paranoia, personality change,  psychosis (complete detachment from reality), and hallucinations. Paranoia seems to be a leading indicator of marijuana induced mental illness and violence.

 

You might recognize the media records of some of these.

 

On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old Dylan Roof murdered 9 African-Americans attending a prayer service in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. He claimed he wanted to start a race war. Roof’s drug abuse started when he was 12, when he smoked marijuana 3 times a day. He tried to stop at age 16, when he started hearing voices. Psychologists believe he was completely paranoid by that age and started having violent outbursts and  panic attacks. He continued to abuse marijuana and other drugs and alcohol. During his arrest in Charleston, he told police officers he abused drugs before committing his heinous act. The media, of course, played up the racial angle, and ignored the marijuana induced paranoia, aggressive behavior, and hallucinations.

 

On November 5, 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley carried out the deadliest mass shooting in Texas’ history, killing 27 people and wounding 20 others at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Lab reports from his autopsy and FBI records revealed multiple incidents of marijuana induced violence, since his first arrest and being expelled from high school for marijuana possession. Personality change and increasingly violent behavior were observed over time.

 

On February 1, 2018, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and staff and injured 17 others at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He consumed heavy doses of marijuana from an early age. He was expelled from high school and abused his wife and step-son. He heard “demon voices’ and took marijuana to silence the voices. He told police he uses “a lot of marijuana” and a prescription tranquilizer, Xanax. Diagnosis: psychosis with hallucinations.

 

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was fatally shot after a physical altercation with a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. He had a large amount of THC in his blood and urine. The evidence suggests that Brown’s behavior was accompanied by personality change and was most likely caused by marijuana induced paranoia.

 

On April 15, 2013,  brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev killed three people and injured 250 by detonating a homemade cooker bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They had been heavy marijuana users since their early teens. The brothers were also implicated in another instance, where three men were killed. Multiple accounts noticed increasingly violent behavior and personality change in Dzhokhar leading up to the bombings.

 

There has been concern in several states that medical marijuana laws have become medical excuse means for obtaining recreational marijuana. California has seen the worst abuse. State laws on medical marijuana are popular, but lack of administrative foresight can result in more crime and violence.

 

Of the 15 cases Norman Miller describes, ten involved guns,  three bombs, one knife, and one using an automobile as a weapon. But it was marijuana that induced mental illness, extreme personality disorders, and violent behavior in all.

 

Law Enforcement statistics bare out the commonsense conclusion that recreational marijuana increases crime, especially violent crime. Colorado legalized commercial recreational marijuana in 2012, and violent crimes (murders, rapes, and assaults) rose 18.6 percent by 2018. Traffic deaths increased 35 percent. In 2017, 25 percent of traffic deaths in Colorado were attributed to drivers high on marijuana.  Traffic deaths involving marijuana use increased from 71 in 2013 to 162 in 2017.

 

There is a disgusting and evil hypocrisy here. The very same politicians who are trying to throw out the Second Amendment and the right of citizens to defend themselves are the same ones pushing legalization of recreational marijuana, which has a shocking record of undesirable outcomes.

 

In 2017, based on 30 years of research, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) issued a 448-page research report on “the Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.” The report indicated strong evidence that marijuana is the cause of schizophrenia, psychoses, and worsens bi-polar disorder. It is also linked to increased risk of suicide, depression, and social anxiety disorder. It concluded with these words:

 

“The association between cannabis use and the development of a psychotic disorder is supported by data synthesized in several good-quality systematic reviews…the magnitude of this association is moderate to large and appears to be dose-dependent…The primary literature reviewed by the committee confirms the conclusions of systematic reviews.

 

As Dr. Christine Miller has put it: “Marijuana is not a safe drug.”

 

Legalization and liberalization of marijuana laws have had a significant record of undesirable outcomes.

 

It is the moral blindness of commercial, media, and political interests who are promoting an industry that is having  devastating and often deadly social consequences on millions of people and families and thousands of communities in the United States and around the globe. The twisted moral compass of recreational marijuana promotion and profits is destroying our country. It is the old but unfortunate truth of corruption” “Follow the money.” To be more precise: “Follow the marijuana money and its politics.”  We are sowing a whirlwind of self-destruction.

 

“Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom [the] gods lead to destruction.”—from the play, Antigone, by Sophocles (497-405 BC)

 

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