Friday, August 9, 2019

Dope, Mass Shootings, Legalization

I send a lot of emails around to my largish family. I just sent another, by Miranda Devine: The link between pot and mass shootings may be closer than we think. I say "another" because over the years I've sent numerous articles relating to drug use--whether strictly illegal or "medications"--and violence. You've probably seen some of these as well. Devine rehearses the data, which seems convincing to me. And it shows the divorce from reality in so much of our public discussion--on guns and simply generally. Legalization of marijuana is to me one of the most irresponsible and destructive things legislators can do.

Read the whole thing, but here are a few teasers:

And, in all honesty, we cannot rule out a connection between increasing marijuana use, mental illness and the recent spate of mass shootings by disturbed young males. 
Until we understand those links, it is nuts to enact lax laws that ­encourage more young people to use a drug proven to trigger mental illness.
President Trump was right to highlight mental illness ... 
But it also should apply to marijuana use, seeing as the two go hand in hand.
You can’t address the youth mental health crisis without considering the effect of rising teen marijuana use. 
We’ve successfully demonized cigarettes while new laws send kids the message that marijuana is harmless. 
Yet we’ve known for more than a decade of the link between marijuana and psychosis, depression and schizophrenia. 
In 2007 the prestigious medical journal Lancet recanted its previous benign view of marijuana, citing studies showing “an increase in risk of psychosis of about 40 percent.” 
A seminal long-term study of 50,465 Swedish army conscripts found those who had tried marijuana by age 18 had 2.4 times the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia in the following 15 years than those who had never used the drug. Heavy users were 6.7 times more likely to be admitted to a hospital for schizophrenia. 
To make matters worse, the marijuana sold at legal dispensaries today is five times more potent than the pot of the 1970s and ’80s, according to a thoroughly researched new book by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson: “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Violence and Mental Health.”
Berenson reports that the first four states to legalize marijuana, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, have seen “sharp increases” in violent crime since 2014. 

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