Keeping America Safe / Opinion / Politics

Chronic Marijuana Use and Violence – Linked?

Marijuana

Sometimes a clinical link between events is known – corroboration attests to a potential causal tie. Sometimes that tie is not reported widely, since it is politically unpopular, empirical yet incomplete or inconvenient. Oddly, or perhaps not so, mass shootings have a tie to chronic marijuana use.

Analogies are useful. After WWII, data emerged showing that soldiers – who had been given plentiful cigarettes in MREs – were showing links to lung cancer. By the 1950s, the cigarettes-cancer link was clear  But not until 20 years later, in 1975, were cigarettes taken out of MREs.

Now consider the marijuana-violence link. If the link is proven with increasing fidelity to facts and tied to violence, that would be highly inconvenient. Not only would marijuana sellers be on the hot seat, but so would politicians who have been pushing the drug’s legalization.

Yet facts are mounting. They relate to general violence and specific incidents. The latter are anecdotal but deeply concerning.

Start with logical questions. Do those who break societal norms, becoming inordinately violent, do that because they are already mentally ill and happen to “self-medicate” with marijuana – or does the use of marijuana – specifically THC – contribute to their violence, impairing core judgment, reducing empathy, creating psychoses, and cascading addictions?

Definitions matter. What exactly is “psychosis?” It is ways in which people lose contact with reality. Drugs tend to do that, which is why they are used – to produce that dissociation. Clinical examples of psychosis span the gamut, from anti-social behavior, paranoia, demoralization, schizophrenia, and depression to violence. Not all who use drugs are psychotic, but some are.

Many studies tie marijuana to psychosis.

The National Institutes on Drug Abuse reports on the link’s strength. “…Smoking high-potency marijuana every day could increase the chances of developing psychosis by nearly five times compared to people who have never used marijuana.”

Other data is similar. Recently, the medical journal Lancet reversed itself, recognizing major studies on marijuana use show “an increase in the risk of psychosis of about 40 percent.” 

Likewise, a Swedish study of 50,000 found those who tried marijuana prior to 18 had 2.5 times more likely to develop schizophrenia, while heavy THC users were 6.5 times more likely.

And what exactly is “schizophrenia?” “A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.”

Other studies link marijuana to schizophrenia and wider psychoses. A 2011 study of 2000 teens, published in the British Medical Journal, shows a doubling of psychosis for marijuana users, of whom 13 percent turned schizophrenic.

A 2014 study found 1.5 percent of Americans were regular marijuana users, yet they accounted for 11 percent of hospital psychoses, or roughly “90,000 cases, 250 a day, triple the number in 2006.” This suggests a tight link – and growth of the affected population.

Other major studies, including one by the National Academy of Medicine, closely tie clinical psychoses to marijuana use – but some go further. They draw a link to indiscriminate violence.

A 2017 study identified violent events in which “marijuana led to unnecessary violence…,” noting marijuana was “the single most common, correlative variable in otherwise diverse populations and circumstances surrounding the association of violence and marijuana.”

Some will not want to hear this, but the National Library of Medicine reported in 2020: “(1) Marijuana use causes violent behavior through increased aggressiveness, paranoia, and personality changes (more suspicious, aggressive, and anger); (2) Recent illicit and ‘medical marijuana’ …is of much high potency and more likely to cause violent behavior; (3) Marijuana use and its adverse effects should be considered in cases of acts of violence as its role is properly assigned to its high association; and (4) …High potency marijuana is a predictable and preventable cause of tragic, violent consequences.”

Given this backdrop, what about a tie to mass shootings? If shooters are deranged, anti-social youth with clear psychoses, what is the chance their psychoses ties to regular marijuana use?

Real answer is, we are not sure, but evidence is mounting in support of a material link – and it cannot be ignored. In short, corroboration exists – and appears statistically significant, or beyond random in the tie-back. Surprisingly, the association between regular marijuana use and mass murders is palpable. Experts like Dr. Daniel Amen, a child psychiatrist, are weighing in – as his interview with Dan Bongino attests. Is this because the alienated use drugs, or is it causal?

Data is again helpful. One study notes: “We cannot rule out a connection between increasing marijuana use, mental illness and the recent spate of mass shootings by disturbed young males.” Notably, reported links exist to shooters in Parkland, El Paso, Dayton, Aurora-Colorado, Tucson- Arizona, Chattanooga-Tennessee, Sacramento-California, and perhaps elsewhere.

Bottom line – We do not know what goes wrong in the mind of mass shooters, why they fall into a violent psychosis, leave reality behind, lose their conscience, trade humanity and morality for evil. 

What we do know is that their mental health is central to the crime, that many either had mental health issues and turned to marijuana or developed mental health issues – including a propensity for violence – after using the drug (and sometimes multiple drugs).

Prudence, protection of innocents, and pondering how best to prevent acts of violence tied to drug use – and clinically tied to marijuana use – would suggest we think much harder about the link, what expanding access to high potency drugs does to the society. Stakes are high and rising.  


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No2pot
4 months ago

Reefer Madness and others get your head out of the smoke… The link between marijuana, mental illness, violence and psychosis (now due to the high potency and) is real. rethinkpot.org/tags/mass-killings

Marijuana being marketed as safe and healthy is one of the biggest lies in American and is causing a national travesty to families and communities.

Reefer Madness
4 months ago

So in other words … You or anyone else really doesn’t know! FDA approved Antidepressants can cause Psychosis and suicidal thoughts but it’s OK because the FDA says it is! This guys home life was horrible, that is what caused his issues, not Cannabis!

Have another Reefer!
4 months ago

HEY IDIOTS!!!

Its legal in Canada, yet the mass shootings are in the USA.

hmmmmmmmm

V Lynn
5 months ago

ANYONE denying this is is true is an absolute DELUSIONAL LIAR that is happy with the absolute abyss this country is headed to. I have dealt with this with people in my family as well as in my industry. I retired from the special events industry because since the legalization of marijuana, people’s behaviors are out of control. They have to smoke all the time, everywhere, don’t care how foul it smells or how they behave. This country is in absolute ruin, everything legalized, nothing off limits. Come back to this post when you have a family member go from this weed gateway drug to mental illness which is already proven. You people are sick!

Have another Reefer!
4 months ago
Reply to  V Lynn

Hahaha your whinning here because you don’t like the smell?
Do you think we should eradicate all skunks too because they can emit a similar smell.
Have another drink.

Reefer Madness
4 months ago
Reply to  V Lynn

Calm down Karen, you’ll be OK! Oh, by the way Cannabis is not a gateway drug, Alcohol is!

Debra Reynolds
5 months ago

Ridiculous fear mongering. Of course those evil people (a tiny fraction of our society) will use and abuse anything and everything—REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT IS LEGAL.
This kind of foul reporting is destroying the ability of those who truly need MMJ for medical use (NO, IT’S NOT AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE EVERYWHERE WITH A RX!) I don’t believe I agree with casual use of marijuana, but the constant war to tar it as evil has been going on for a century or more, and is NOT based in fact. Slanted studies prove nothing except the bias of the reporter.

NJY
5 months ago

Since the need to legalize marijuana the crime rate has escalated. If people who drink get drunk and act irresponsibly, how would they act in a smoked filled haze on marijuana,
paranoid, and then violent. I should know I married someone who got high often and was abusive due to the influence. The crime rate in the US is due to legalize marijuana, and constant usage, from people who have no self control.

Have another Reefer!
4 months ago
Reply to  NJY

Marijuana DOES NOT induce violence. Stop drinking the koolaid you’re embarrassing yourself.

Reefer Madness
4 months ago
Reply to  NJY

Another Reefer Madness child! So before Cannabis was legalized in now 18+ states, there was no violence? WOW what rock did you just crawl out from?

Bill
5 months ago

After working in the Security business for 12 years, I have had a lot of experience dealing with people in every state of emotion and every state if intoxication. Not once have I ever encountered a violent pot party. On the other hand, I have had the greatest trouble with drunks and meth users.It is my belief that anything can be abused to the point of harm and there may be a few folks that are so lost that any substance they chose to numb themselves into oblivion. It’s quite clearly a side effect of the state of social decay we have been witnessing, but I feel that marijuana is one of the least harmful substances we should be concerned about. I would also be willing to bet that the Pharmaceutical industry and the government agencies they own would really like to disparage any natural source remedy. I don’t trust their data. Remember, every government entity, nationally and globally told us the COVID-19 “vaccine” was safe and effective. They said Hydroxychloroquine was bleach and Ivermectin was for horses. I thank our government agencies for the rash of mental illness issues. Trust has been destroyed and an up tick of paranoia is to be expected.

Peter Hughart
5 months ago

The movie Reefer madness comes to mindTalk about disinformationWho presented this movie to the people

Mziggy
5 months ago

That’s an absolute lie.

Mary Annie
5 months ago

Thank you Mr. Charles. You made several good points, Let’s address the issues that lead to mental illness whether it’s due to marijuana use or some other unfortunate cause before we curtail the right of those who own firearms.

Doyle
5 months ago

We lost so much since the Rockefeller family went though destroying all the home remedies books . Back in the 30s. And I wonder why the pharmacy sign was back in 1830 to let you know it was a place to get medicine at. It was a marijuana leaf. Marijuana by itself is good for you.

James J
5 months ago

they passed the legality of weed by saying it is the wonder drug, cure all, for seizures, epilepsy, Hodgkins, and whatever other miracle could be said that is Does. which is B.S.!! for Cancer patients why not, that is fine, or for chronic patients dying, yes. not for b.s. hangnail injuries to get medical card weed. The THC will and does alter your mind, creating loss and detachment from reality, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, and a total waste of basement living, creating a do-Nothing life existence and it is called a Recreational Drug.. a better name for it is the Dumbing of America drug.. and IT IS A Gateway Drug!!!
CBD oil which weed does have very minute quantities. Although the best CBD oil is Found in HEMP the CBD oil is the Wonder Drug.. Without the THC.. CBD oil has been Legal in Every State in the United States for over 50 years..

Keith
5 months ago
Reply to  James J

James,There is one problem. CBD without THC doesn’t work or is not nearly as effective. They are synergistic and need to be used together. I wish it wasn’t so.

Reefer Madness
4 months ago
Reply to  James J

Hi James! “he THC will and does alter your mind, creating loss and detachment from reality, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, and a total waste of basement living, creating a do-Nothing life existence and it is called a Recreational Drug.. a better name for it is the Dumbing of America drug.. and IT IS A Gateway Drug!!!” <- please explain why myself and millions of other consumers live a normal hard working life just like you but prefer Cannabis over, say Alcohol to relax after work? Been an IT Consultant for 30 years all while enjoying Cannabis with no ill effects, how is that possible. Also Cannabis is not a gateway drug!

Bruce from Canada
6 months ago

The evidence linking cannabis to psychosis, schizophrenia and violence is as thin as the evidence linking minorities to crime in general. It’s a smear campaign against cannabis consumers, not science. And NIDAs opinion on cannabis is worthless since their entire reason for existence is to promote anti-drug propaganda.

JOHN R WHITE
6 months ago

Pot is a drug that like all illegal drugs is a powerful mind altering drug. Chronic use causes detachment from reality. The younger it’s use the stronger and more permanent effect it has. Medical use? Very narrow justification for it’s use other than terminal illness. Ask for a show of hands for it’s use from the left. If the truth was in them the count would be a majority.

Bill T
6 months ago

It looks to me that half our young teenagers are using marijuana quite frequently, there’s no doubt they can easily obtain the drug. Could being high almost all the time affect there mental capacity? Probably so, we’ll I’m almost sure our government was well aware of these clinical medical trials with a direct connection to psychosis in young children and adults, I’m sure we’re all aware of the new marijuana laws that now allow our society to legally posses and use marijuana almost anywhere, actually it’s going to be quite easy to go to buy it at the many shops that are everywhere in California, Colorado, and soon almost everywhere else. This cannot be a productive situation for our children or our country. I do believe if your prescribed medical marijuana for a condition you may have to help you , that’s a totally different story. Legalizing marijuana simply cannot be a good thing for our country or our people. But it’s mostly the liberals who allowed this to happen, what did you expect from them.

David Millikan
6 months ago

Don’t blame marijuana for what some kid did.
That’s like blaming the gun when it was a Person Who Had To PULL The Trigger.
Especially, since NO GUN has committed a crime. ONLY the person using it.
Same goes with marijuana.
Remember, they’ve had OVER 50 years of Lying to us with their propaganda by politicians.
This isn’t any different.

mikey ross
6 months ago
Reply to  David Millikan

But marijuana has been proven to cause dangerous mental disorders. So yes, marijuana must take some of the blame.

JOHN R WHITE
6 months ago
Reply to  David Millikan

Please don’t try to defend Marijuana use. There is no facts to justify it’s use and it’s effects other than specific medical issues.

Jeannette
6 months ago

My kids are all in their thirties with offspring ranging from age 18 to 7. In the young families who are close friends to my children and grandchildren, all of the children who have been diagnosed with autism or being on the spectrum, have parents who are marijuana users. Most of them have been smoking it since their teens.
When I mentioned it to my daughter, she thought for a moment and agreed, there did seem to be a connection. As we discussed the children within her sphere who have been diagnosed with autism we noticed that not every parent who enjoys recreational drugs has a child with issues, but every child with issues has a parent who uses.

It would be great if a study can be done to find out if there is a correlation between marijuana use by parents and the long term mental health of their offspring

Dan W.
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeannette

Autism is a developmental disability that affects how people communicate and experience the world around them. Autism is not a mental illness/mental health problem.

(If you don’t believe me ask your family doctor but please keep your theories that autism is a mental health problem to yourself.)

mikey ross
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan W.

According to the DSM-5, which stands for “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition,” autism falls under the mental disorder category. And there is a link between the pot smokers and autism.

Stop smoking pot and learn to read…

James J
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeannette

You and your Daughter are Correct.. I am in total agreement with you.. it is called The Dumbing of America

Morbious
6 months ago

In my experience thc increases suggestibility as well as precipitating mental illness in those who are predisposed. Not so sure about violence. The pot of fifty years ago made people quiescent. Ive told the young in my extended family to at least procrastinate pot until their brains were fully developed. Much trouble comes from teens using it. I believe if there’re myths associated with pot theyre for the most part fantasies that it is entirely harmless. Thats not true of any drug.

Lynn
6 months ago

Many of the mass murdering shooters showed classic signs of psychopathic behavior like torturing animals, fire setting and excessive aggression at home/ school and marked lack of empathy early on. Perhaps marijuana and other drug use/dependence also exacerbates the issues. Very often, no one wants to deal with the aberrant behavior hoping kids grow out of it and are too young to know right from wrong. Parents and siblings are often scared to death of them. These kids don’t get better. They don’t go through an great awakening and age 18 to become good, well adjusted citizens. They fill prisons and mental institutions and give persons such as myself lifelong careers. The gentler ones and perhaps very smart ones rob your checkbooks.

tika
6 months ago

violent people are always violent. it’s never been different. We live in Satan’s domain. Come Lord Jesus, Come!

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