Role of Marijuana in Youth Violence
The role of marijuana needs to be added to policy discussion of youth violence and mass murders. Ten days ago three participants were shot at the 420 celebration rally in Denver.
It’s probably more than just a coincidence that Arizona shooter Jared Loughner and Aurora Colorado shooter James Holmes were long-time stoners. Now we can add Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the list of criminals who smoked marijuana regularly—and committed acts of mass violance.
Unlike the Arizona and Aurora shooters, Tsarnaev was not labeled a “nut” by his classmates and observers. Why the big change from nice kid to terrorist? Sure, he was radicalized by others, but why was it so easy to influence him? Well, the common link between these three young men is that they lived in states which have passed laws allowing medical marijuana. The THC content in today’s marijuana is much higher than it was in the pot of the 1960s and 1970s.
The more the marijuana lobby pretends that medical marijuana is about compassion for those dying of cancer or suffering from HIV/AIDs, the more our youth is getting the dopey idea that marijuana is not dangerous. Most casual observers in states with medical marijuana agree that if is far easier for children to get pot than alcohol.
Of course, there are other societal problems which add to mass violence, but the role of marijuana in fostering psychosis needs to be added to the list when we consider policy.
Yet, the pot lobby claims that marijuana doesn’t change the brain, doesn’t cause addiction, cannot bring psychosis. When they come across studies – even those from other countries as diverse as Denmark and New Zealand – they’re convinced researchers have been paid off by a conspiracy of the United States government and the drug companies to come to their conclusions. In truth, the marijuana lobby is trying to get a younger clientele for their product, hoping to get them hooked when the day arrives that it becomes legal. The cynical promoters of cannabis know that a “weed” cannot be taxed and regulated, so they spread the message by lying to say it will bring new tax revenue
Perhaps it is the power of the marijuana lobby that is preventing studies that could link marijuana usage to the onset of Parkinson’s at a young age and to the higher incidence of autism in the children of parents who smoke marijuana or have smoked it regularly. (Casual observers on the autism websites have written/spoken about a correlation between pot users and having children with autism.) Of course, any problem which affects such a large number of people is likely to have multiple causes.
We should not be increasing our tolerance of marijuana at this time. There is a reason the federal government took many years to study why marijuana should remain a Schedule I drug, recently upheld by an Appeals Court.