Given the data, can we strongly suggest that marijuana, especially in the high-potency forms and fast delivery systems available, is now a serious risk factor in violent acts?
All the facts and increasing potency of THC in marijuana is a RED ALERT to parents. We inform parents of the warning signs of marijuana use, so they have every opportunity to steer youth away from irreversible harm.
Thought Provoking Facts
PopPot is one of the few organizations in the U.S. exposing the connection between marijuana use and gruesome acts of mass violence. Our story Marijuana is the Common Web Between So Many Mass Killers gained national attention when it was quoted in this New York Post article: The Link Between Marijuana and Mass Shootings May Be Closer Than We Think. Since coroners don’t always test for marijuana in cases of violent crimes, we do not know the true statistics on marijuana and violence. Yet, in many news articles about crimes, we often find a mention of marijuana. In our recent article, Violence and Crime, we write about several high profile cases that prove this point.
What Does the Research Show?
On May 27, 2020, The American Journal of Psychiatry published a meta-analysis of 30 studies of marijuana and violence which found an association between cannabis and physical violence in young adults less than 30 years of age. They reported, “These results demonstrate a moderate association between cannabis use and physical violence, which remained significant regardless of study design and adjustment for confounding factors (i.e., socioeconomic factors, other substance use)”. The analysis concluded, “Cannabis use in this population is a risk factor for violence.”.
Researchers also found marijuana to be a significant contributor to intimate partner violence, even after controlling for alcohol use, antisocial personality symptoms and relationship satisfaction.
A report from the U.S. Secret Service also lists marijuana as a risk factor for violence:
“SUBSTANCE USE: About half of the attackers (n = 15, 54%) had a history of illicit drug use and/or substance abuse. This abuse, which included alcohol and marijuana, was evidenced by such factors as the attacker receiving treatment for the abuse, suffering legal consequences, or having significant problems in their personal lives stemming from the abuse.” — The Mass Attack in Public Spaces- 2017 Report
The International Journal of Environmental and Public Health presents cases of violence involving marijuana:
“Here, we present 14 cases of violence with chronic marijuana users that highlight reoccurring consequences of: marijuana induced paranoia (exaggerated, unfounded distrust) and marijuana induced psychosis (radical personality change, loss of contact with reality).” — Review of Cases on Marijuana and Violence
News Reports about Marijuana and Violence
The evidence shows that we can decrease the risk of violent events if we decrease marijuana and other drug use. Marijuana legalization is a disastrous failure because of uncontrolled access to recreational and medical marijuana and no warnings or medical oversight. The effects of marijuana on the brain resulting in subsequent violence in a growing number of people is a disturbing trend. As a nation, we need to discourage marijuana use, not promote it.
In Does Teen Pot Use Increase Violence?, we detail a number of high profile cases where marijuana use was a factor. Some of the most horrific cases are of multiple fatalities in a family setting, detailed in Orange County Murders Horrify Friends and Neighbors.
Another way marijuana and violence are linked is through drug deals gone bad. Here is a recent story of 2 young adults arrested for a shooting after a drug deal.
This Think Ya Know? email presents a new video, scientific research and news stories about the connection between violence and cannabis drug use. Please share it with anyone who needs to know the truth.
Parents, sit with your children and come up with escape plans so your children don’t find themselves stranded in situations where marijuana is being used. This is a great way to impress upon them that you are concerned and want to protect them. Visit Parent Movement 2.0 website for great advice and strategies that can help you do this.
If you or someone you know is struggling with violent outbursts, especially from marijuana use (Cannabis-Induced Psychosis), please seek help immediately. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, call 911. If not, contact your doctor or an addiction/mental health specialist in your area.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Also visit the online treatment locators.
Other Resources for Parents
Every living room coffee table needs to have Alex Berenson’s book, Tell Your Children –The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence. Displayed prominently, it will encourage your curious teen to wonder about the worst outcomes that await the unsuspecting drug user.
In her book, “From Monsters to Miracles,” author Anette Edens, PhD, offers solutions for families dealing with adolescent substance abuse.
Attacker Smoked Cannabis blog and now a new book by UK journalist Ross Grainger. He follows news stories in the UK and Ireland where cannabis was influential on the perpertrator of a violent crime.
Another UK drug prevention activist Mary Brett offers How to Spot the Signs of youth drug use.
You can build community with others who have been harmed by marijuana, and empower youth to not be pressured to use it.
Join us October 1-3 in Washington DC for our Voices of Truth rally
in support of those families dealing with tragedies caused by marijuana.