The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

In 441 BC, the Greek playwright Sophocles wrote a drama called Antigone that contained this line:

“Evil appears good in the minds of those whom God leads to destruction.”

Similar observations can be found in other Greek, Hebrew, and Roman literature, including Isaiah 5:20 written sometime before 686 BC.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…”

Another familiar form of it is spoken by Prometheus in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s play, “The Masque of Pandora,” written in 1875:

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

In August 2017, Senator Cory Booker, Democrat from New Jersey, introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate to legalize marijuana on the federal level.

Flowering Marijuana

Booker claimed that the eight states and District of Columbia that had legalized marijuana had experienced falling crime and violence rates, and their police forces were now able to concentrate on serious crimes. Senator Booker was probably relying on an October 2014 article by Dr. Marcus Bachhuber in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) based on only four states and only on the year 2010. Later more comprehensive data from 2013 to 2017 proved the opposite and was strongly backed by past and more recent studies. The four states with sufficient data in 2018 were Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska.

Washington’s annual report to the FBI indicated that the number of murders in the state had increased from 160 in 2013 to 230 in 2017, a 44 percent increase. Aggravated assaults had increased from approximately 11,700 in 2013 to 13,700 in 2017, an increase of 17 percent.

There were 450 murders in 2013 in the combined four states compared to 615 in 2017, a 37 percent increase. Aggravated assault increased from approximately 30,300 to 37,800 during the same time period, a 25 percent increase. During the 2013 to 2017 time period for the entire U.S., murders increased by 20 percent and aggravated assault increased 11 percent.

This is quite a bit of difference, but the pro-marijuana propaganda organization, Drug Policy Alliance, keeps using the refuted 2014 JAMA article and ignores study after study indicating that marijuana is connected to mental health problems and violent crimes. The Drug Policy Alliance receives substantial financial support from George Soros and those interested in turning the marijuana (cannabis) industry into a huge windfall of profits. Altogether, Soros has spent tens of millions of dollars to legalize marijuana.

Pro-marijuana propaganda from the Drug Policy Alliance and its liberal media and political supporters has driven marijuana acceptance up considerably in the last dozen years. Polls in 2017, which I am sure Senator Booker was aware of, showed general acceptance for legalizing marijuana at 60 percent and favorable opinions on medical marijuana use at 94 percent.

There are many chemicals in a cannabis plant, but the one that provides the neural stimulation and psychological effects is delta-9-tetrahydro cannabinol, abbreviated THC. Before the 1970s, most marijuana contained less than two percent THC. Today the THC content is likely to be 20 to 25 percent. Cannabis also contains a chemical called CBD, which has a few positive effects in some diseases, but most marijuana sold to consumers is high in THC and has little or no CBD.

Marijuana can be consumed by smoking, easting “edibles” (such as candy), or “vaping.” The psychological effects are usually a feeling of euphoria or ecstasy, enhanced sensation, a rush of ideas, a distorted perception of time, and hunger. There are no withdrawal symptoms, but the euphoria is quickly and highly addictive, and psychological withdrawal can be very difficult.  

Regular use generally results in reduced concentration, memory, motivation, energy, and mental acuity.  Depression, loss of ambition and insight, and gradual change in disposition are also common. Frequent use or high doses can cause delusions, hallucinations, and feelings of paranoia. Daily use is essentially addiction, which in an average of six years can cause mental breakdown. There is considerable evidence to support marijuana’s role as a gateway drug to more powerful narcotics.

Public sympathy for people whose pain and suffering might be relieved by medicinal marijuana is naturally high and has been an important part of the cannabis lobby’s game plan to legalize recreational marijuana following passage of medicinal marijuana. Unfortunately for the public, clinical studies from all around the world continue to find the claims for medicinal benefits for marijuana THC are negligible or complete bunk. In some instances, the results have indicated serious dangers. The FDA has never approved any marijuana THC product.

In 2017, 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 a cause of schizophrenia, psychoses, and worsens bi-polar disorder. It is also linked to increased risk of suicide, depression, and social anxiety disorder. The higher the use the higher the risk!  

The same NAM report found that there was essentially no evidence cannabis can help cancer of any kind. It was also found to increase the danger of leukemia and brain cancer in the children of mothers who smoked marijuana.

It was no help in dementia, epilepsy (except for two rare forms), glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, and PTSD, and can actually worsen them. It gives only moderate pain relief, which can easily be bested by standard pain medications without marijuana’s strong addictive properties. It is useless for arthritis.

In 2014, eleven percent of emergency room visits were listed as psychosis with marijuana abuse.

A California voter-initiated referendum called Proposition 215 approving medicinal use of marijuana passed in 1996, garnering almost 56 percent of the vote. George Soros was one of the major financial backers of the Proposition 215 campaign.  Medicinal permits for marijuana use was contingent on certification by their doctor. There are over 100,000 doctors in California but only about 1,500 chose to certify any patients. Some 200,000 patients were registered. It is widely believed that most of these were only seeking a license for recreational marijuana rather than a pain reliever. Again, marijuana is no better than alcohol for pain relief and may be inferior to a few ibuprofen pills and is certainly inferior to most commonly prescribed pain remedies by physicians.

Another myth perpetuated by the Drug Policy Alliance and their media, political, and commercial allies is that marijuana presents no more danger of violence than alcohol. Various studies indicate marijuana not only causes more violence than alcohol, but the violence of marijuana is generally linked to psychosis. Psychotic violence is the most violent of all, and because it is usually accompanied by paranoia is often and unexpectedly directed at family, children, friends, and innocent bystanders without reasons or motives based on reality.

Anecdotes do not confirm solid science, but when similar anecdotes keep showing up, it is time to pay attention.  In his recently published book, Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence; Alex Berensen lists many frightening anecdotes on marijuana linked psychotic murders and a whole chapter of brief descriptions of terrible psychotic murders clearly linked to marijuana. One example should suffice even though psychotic violence constitutes a major concern about encouraging marijuana by legalization. In December 2014, a 37-year old Australian woman living in Cairns, Australia, stabbed to death eight children. Seven were her own children, and one was a niece. She had been using cannabis since age 14. It had progressed to schizophrenia, as between 10 to 15 percent of marijuana abuse does. But higher dosage and longer use increase the probability of psychosis.

Berensen’s conclusions on the dangers of marijuana, however, are not based primarily on anecdotal reporting. They are based on the rigorous science and statistics of clinical studies and comparison of reliable law enforcement reports over time.  According to Berensen, men with schizophrenic diagnosis are five times more likely than healthy people to commit violent crimes, and the multiplier for women is even higher. Berensen also points out the strong association of children’s deaths with parental marijuana abuse.

The 2017 NAM report examined 30 years of research on cannabis issues with this conclusion:

“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.”

The U.S. already has 70,000 deaths per year from drug over-doses, but the social, cultural, and spiritual damage to the American people is much deeper and greater. Unrestricted marijuana promotion and use are nation-destroying insanity. Tell your children!

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