Editor’s note: This information is from SAM Vermont, a group that advocates “smart approaches to marijuana.”
Marijuana use is linked to psychosis and violent behavior. In addition to access to guns, most mass shooters — a term that we feel is abhorrently necessary to know — had access to and were using marijuana.
To address this epidemic of violence in our country, important promising and proven strategies have been proposed that reduce risky gun sales. We argue that we should be considering an additional risk factor, a potentially significant one, and how we can reduce it: the increased promotion, normalization, and availability of marijuana. The use of marijuana by nearly all people committing these crimes warrants more serious consideration. This increase in promotion, availability, and use of marijuana appears to be turning the heat up on this issue at a time when we need to be cooling things down.
More on mass shooters’ use of marijuana:
Devin Patrick Kelley – killed 26 people, church in Texas
Kevin Neal – killed 5 people, California
Satoshi Uematsu: killed 19 people, Japan
Robert Dear – Planned Parenthood killer
Jared Loughner – killed 6 people, Tuscon, Arizona
Noah Harpham, shot 3 people, Colorado Springs – used only marijuana
James Holmes, shot people in movie theater, Aurora, Colorado
“Boston bombers,” the Oklahoma City bomber, and the Bastille Day terrorist in Nice all used marijuana.
Eric Rudolph: killed Chris Kyle Chad Littlefield
Brahim and Salah Abdeslem, planned to kill 130 at a Paris nightclub, used marijuana
Cherif Kouachi, Charlie Hebdo killings, part of a group of heavy, chronic marijuana users.
London and Manchester bombings perpetrators known to be heavy marijuana users.
Surgeon general’s advisory on marijuana
The just-announced advisory from Surgeon General Jerome Adams, the first such advisory on marijuana issued since 1982, makes it clear: the science has not changed about the risks of marijuana use.
“Some state’s laws on marijuana have changed, but the science has not and federal law has not,” officials stated at the press conference accompanying the advisory.
In addition, the following facts were highlighted:
*Marijuana is an addictive drug
*Use by pregnant women has doubled between 2002 and 2017
*In 2017, new users between the ages of 12 and 25 rose by almost 30%
Moreover, the advisory went on to reiterate that there is no approved use of marijuana to treat any medical condition. Despite this fact, dispensaries and retail stores in states that have allowed this market to develop have also been leading people to believe that marijuana can be used as a legitimate treatment for a host of medical conditions. This misleading endangers peoples’ lives, often leading them to forgo or put off effective treatment. Not only does this negatively impact consumers, it impacts all those connected with them, including the health and the well-being those who care about them.
Further, the science indicates the higher the THC concentration, the higher the risks.
The greater the potency, the greater the risk for dependence and addiction, as well anxiety, psychosis, depression, and suicide.
The increased normalization of use has led to a decrease in how harmful youth perceive the drug to be. As they perceive it to be less harmful, youth will use it more. Youth who regularly use marijuana are more likely to show a decline in IQ and school performance and are more apt to miss classes and drop out.
As the need to increase sales and use grows with increased markets, marijuana is also being promoted to pregnant women as an anti-nausea treatment and empowerment (“why you shouldn’t judge” is part of this article’s headline). Marijuana use during pregnancy can affect a baby’s brain and result in lower birth weight, which is a marker for early death and disability. There are other health risks that accompany marijuana use and pregnancy, as well.