Did Pot Trigger Giffords Shooting?

January 9th, 2011 at 12:56 am David Frum | 181 Comments |

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After horrific shootings, we hear calls for stricter regulation of guns. The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana.

Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a “pot smoking loner.”

He had two encounters with the law, one for possession of drug paraphanalia.

We are also learning that Loughner exhibited signs of severe mental illness, very likely schizophrenia.

The connection between marijuana and schizophrenia is both controversial and complicated. The raw association is strong:

  • Schizophrenics are twice as likely to smoke marijuana as non-schizophrenics.
  • People who smoke marijuana are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as those who do not smoke.

But is correlation causation?

Increasingly experts seem to be saying: “Yes.”

Time had a good summary of the expert view in an article published in July 2010.

Marie-Odile Krebs, professor of psychiatry at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) laboratory in France, and her colleagues published a study in June that identified two broad groups of people with schizophrenia who used cannabis: those whose disease was profoundly affected by their drug use and those who were not.

Within Krebs’s study population of 190 patients (121 of whom had used cannabis), researchers found a subgroup of 44 whose disease was powerfully affected by the drug. These patients either developed schizophrenia within a month of beginning to smoke pot or saw their existing psychosis severely exacerbated with each successive exposure to the drug. Schizophrenia appeared in these patients nearly three years earlier than in other marijuana-users with the disease.

After the Tucson shooting, there may be renewed pressure to control the weapons that committed the crime. But what about the drugs that may have aggravated the killer’s mental disease? The trend these days seems toward a more casual attitude and easier access to those drugs. Among the things we should be discussing in the aftermath of this horror is the accumulating evidence of those drugs’ potential contribution to making some dangerous people even more dangerous than they might otherwise have been.


UPDATE: Read about the latest scientific research on the connection between Marijuana and Schizophrenia here.

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181 Comments so far ↓

  • brucds

    My guess is it was the booze. We should reinstitute Prohibition to protect Congressfolk from harm. Among other things, it might put the damper on the Majority Leader’s crying spells.

  • dmnolan

    When I was in high school the authorities warned me that if I smoked marijuana I would kill my parents. But despite this warning I smoked it anyway and I never killed my parents! Go figure!

  • anniemargret

    Meanwhile, back at the ABC store….

    Serious Americans of all stripes like to go and purchase a few bottles of your favorite bourbon or vodka. Many Americans now drink wine as easily as they used to drink Coke. We know that some people have a propensity to overindulge, perhaps due to their DNA and genetics, or become addicted for a variety of reasons. It’s why we have controls and why we watch that young people not drink until they are old enough to understand the consequences of indulging.

    Pot has been, to my limited education on it, grossly overinflated as some dangerous drug, more dangerous than alcohol. I’m sure you become addicted to pot, or overindulge, you probably would suffer serious health and mind effects. But is it any worse than have a few drinks?

    Let’s leave that decision to fair minded scientists and researchers.

    Does the chicken come before the egg, or vice versa? Schizophrenia is a genetically linked brain disorder that almost always exhibits itself during adolescence and late adolescence when hormones are high. There are genetic factors involved and environmental factors involved, and researchers are still not sure what exactly causes this to happen. But like most illnesses, the person suffering from it always knows they have it before anyone else does. It can exhibit itself even in early adolescence and in the absence of ANY narcotic or alcohol.

    The use of alcohol and narcotics in mentally ill people are almost always an attempt to stem the pain of a disorganized and confusing mind. It helps dulls the senses.

    Why do people like alcohol and pot? Because it dulls the senses and helps us relax and get ‘mellow’ as the old 60s song went.

    So let’s drop the pretense. Pot did not cause this young man to commit a crime. The basis for his hate and confusion probably started years and years before with a mental illness that was left untreated or by people unaware and he chose a political arena to thrash out his furies.

    It’s past time we, as a nation, address this serious issue which at some point, will affect almost every family in America. Mental illness does not show prejudice. We can make it better. By better education and better treatment, by restricting gun sales and tightening laws.

    And please. ….the hate on the airwaves must stop. Stop.

  • pnumi2

    lessado

    ding ding ding. Nice.
    I hope you saw my apology in the other post. You were right. I was upset.

    In 40 years of partaking, I never brought an automatic to a political rally. Actually, if he had been smoking pot, he probably would have got the munchies and would have had his face buried in a chocolate cream pie…

  • ktward

    I’m finally out of moderation.
    Tell me, FF moderators, how is it that rbc // Jan 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm with his 6+ links gets posted right away, while I languished in moderation limbo for 12+ hours with only a measly 3 links as my crime? Does it have anything to do with rbc’s butt-kissing lead: “David, thanks for at least trying to get the word out about the dangers of cannabis (pot) and psychosis/schizophrenia.”

    Fair question, no?

    Meanwhile, here’s my post sans links. Links are way back at 5:46 am.
    ———————–

    After the Tucson shooting, there may be renewed pressure to control the weapons that committed the crime. But what about the drugs that may have aggravated the killer’s mental disease?

    Usually when Frum attempts to make a weakly premised argument, it has something to do with Israel. So I must admit, the genesis of this otherwise silly column is a stumper.

    Where Loughner is concerned, all else being equal I’m confident that his victims–and the rest of us–would prefer that he had been successfully denied his firearms vs. his doobies. (Rant away, provided there’s no gun handy.)

    Meanwhile, since Frum is suggesting that mj might be the underlying culprit here … what about alcohol? Alcohol is inarguably the more ubiquitous substance of choice among schizophrenics, and has been longer studied. There’s no denying that substance abuse is high among this particular group:

    AUD [Alcohol Use Disorder] and other substance use disorders are extremely common among patients with schizophrenia. Almost half of schizophrenia patients have a substance use disorder (when nicotine dependence is excluded) during their lifetime.

    However, does a high rate of substance abuse within this specific group indicate a higher propensity toward violent behavior as compared to the general population? Not really:

    Substance abuse greatly increased the risk of violence for those with a psychotic illness, but this increased risk of violence was similar to those in the general population with substance abuse but no psychotic illness – suggesting that most of the excess risk of violence in psychotic patients appears to be mediated by the abuse of drugs and alcohol.

    Yet, within the general, non-psychotic population, mj is “safer” than alcohol, as measured by manifested violent behavior:

    Alcohol use contributes to aggressive behavior and acts of violence, whereas marijuana use reduces the likelihood of violent behavior.

    If Frum is suggesting that our “War On Drugs”–lost so very long ago–should be re-armed based upon this case, his argument is more credibly supported by suggesting a repeal of the 21st amendment.

  • DJEB

    From Maias Szalavitz, author of the Time article:

    “If you read the full article linked in the Frum post, it does not say what he seems to think it does. I know because I wrote it.”

  • deejcrist

    After horrific shootings, we hear calls for stricter regulation of guns. The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana.

    Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a “pot smoking loner.”
    Lean Body X

  • Duncan20903

    The nonsense that cannabis is a causal factor in schizophrenia is so easy to disprove that it’s amazing that anyone trots out that red herring. For the last 100 years or so the rate of schizophrenia to the general population has held steady, pretty much at 1% more or less. As most people know, the incidence of cannabis use increased over 1000% in the 1960s. Yet we don’t see any increase in the incidence of schizophrenia. Then by 1990 cannabis is supposed now 20-50 times more potent than cobra venom, yet we see no increase in the schizophrenia rate.

    One does not increase the incidence of a causal factor without seeing a corresponding increase in the thing supposedly caused. The US would have mentally ill people on every street corner in America were there any truth to the laughable argument that cannabis causes schizophrenia.

    Schizophrenic also have significantly higher rates of tobacco and drinking alcohol use. Today the claim is nice and polished, but it still is the same nonsense “reasoning” that produced the classic comedy movie “Reefer Madness.”
    ————————————————————————————————————————-
    Quoted from the Time article linked in Mr. Frum’s article:
    “But here’s the conundrum: while marijuana went from being a secret shared by a small community of hepcats and beatniks in the 1940s and ’50s to a rite of passage for some 70% of youth by the turn of the century, rates of schizophrenia in the U.S. have remained flat, or possibly declined. For as long as it has been tracked, schizophrenia has been found to affect about 1% of the population.

    “But here’s the conundrum: while marijuana went from being a secret shared by a small community of hepcats and beatniks in the 1940s and ’50s to a rite of passage for some 70% of youth by the turn of the century, rates of schizophrenia in the U.S. have remained flat, or possibly declined. For as long as it has been tracked, schizophrenia has been found to affect about 1% of the population.”
    .
    .
    .
    “But when the researchers controlled for other factors known to influence schizophrenia risk, including gender, education and socioeconomic status, the association between disease onset and marijuana disappeared.”
    ————————————————————————————————————————-
    I can only conclude that Mr. Frum didn’t expect anyone to click through and actually read the article. It’s kind of annoying as this is the second screed today on the subject which tried the same trick.

  • pfroehlich2004

    Here’s a rather more relevant quote from the above mentioned Time article:

    “… while marijuana went from being a secret shared by a small community of hepcats and beatniks in the 1940s and ’50s to a rite of passage for some 70% of youth by the turn of the century, rates of schizophrenia in the U.S. have remained flat, or possibly declined. For as long as it has been tracked, schizophrenia has been found to affect about 1% of the population. ”

    In other words, there is not a shred of evidence that rates of marijuana use influence rates of schizophrenia. If marijuana were to magically disappear at a wave of the Drug Czar’s wand, we could still expect 1% of the population to exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia. If 100% of the population was getting stoned every day this percentage would remain unchanged.

    So, David, what exactly is your point?

  • Ouroboros

    Obviously, the Axis of Evil is actually Alcohol, Guns, and Schizophrenia.

  • Emanuelle

    According to the testimony of one of his friends (http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/jared-lee-loughner-friend-voicemail-phone-message) it was almost the other way around. It’s when he went clean that his delusions went of the chart:
    “After Loughner apparently gave up drugs and booze, “his theories got worse,” Tierney says. “After he quit, he was just off the wall.” And Loughner started to drift away from his group of friends about a year ago. ”

    The rest of the interview seems to indicate Loughner had been gradually slipping into madness for years and that in terms of drugs alcohol was just as much part of the picture as pot.

  • Timmeh

    @Duncan20903
    Good catch:
    “But when the researchers controlled for other factors known to influence schizophrenia risk, including gender, education and socioeconomic status, the association between disease onset and marijuana disappeared.”

    I wonder if Mr. Frum will acknowledge this or any of the other fine points made in these comments.

  • ste4ve

    Cognitive dissonance. Jesus. I mean, how many people walk into a crowd and starting shooting guns each year, or decade? One? Two? Three? And how many people drink alcohol and drive and kill or injure someone each year? Let’s start with 50,000, or round it off to about 1,000 per week. OK. So let’s “regulate” alcohol. Oh, wait, it already IS “regulated.” Or how many people kill themselves with tobacco each year? About a thousand a week. OK. Let’s regulate tobacco. Oh, wait, it already IS “regulated.”

    Seriously, how is it possible for people to be SO stupid?

  • ste4ve

    From the WSJ: “Mr. Loughner was a scrawny, average teenager with a mop of curly hair. He played saxophone at football games and jammed with a friend’s garage band. In his freshman and sophomore years at Mountain View High School, Mr. Loughner flew under the radar.”

    I propose we “regulate” curly hair, saxophones, football games and garage bands that “jam.” Immediately! “Research” and scholarly quotes to follow.

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  • cashel2

    In response to Duncan20903 (“The nonsense that cannabis is a causal factor in schizophrenia is so easy to disprove that it’s amazing that anyone trots out that red herring. For the last 100 years or so the rate of schizophrenia to the general population has held steady, pretty much at 1% more or less. As most people know, the incidence of cannabis use increased over 1000% in the 1960s. Yet we don’t see any increase in the incidence of schizophrenia. Then by 1990 cannabis is supposed now 20-50 times more potent than cobra venom, yet we see no increase in the schizophrenia rate).

    The rate of schizophrenia does NOT stay constant, a feature it shares with any other disease. That 1% figure is a convenient statistic used in medical textbooks to approximate the worldwide average, when in fact there are pretty dramatic geographical and chronological variations in its rate.

    The rate of schizophrenia should actually be decreasing in this country. As recognition of schizophrenia has increased in western civilization, the associated stigma, social isolation and frequent incarceration decreased the ability of these individuals to marry and have children, whereas in more underdeveloped and rural societies, tolerance is greater. As a disease with a strong genetic component, one would therefore expect the rate of schizophrenia to be decreasing in the United States. Unfortunately, not enough epidemiology has been carried out in the U.S. to determine whether the rate is increasing or decreasing. The controlled epidemiology that exists has been carried out in Europe, where prospective studies have shown that teens who were smoking pot at study onset were much more likely to exhibit signs of schizophrenia (psychosis) after 4 years than those who weren’t smoking pot, whereas those who were exhibiting signs of schizophrenia at study onset were no more likely to start smoking pot than those who were normal at the onset of the studies (Henquet et al., 2005). The risk is much higher for those with a family history of psychosis (Arendt et al., 2008), and the risk is also much higher with the new more potent pot that quoted post refers to (Di Forti et al., 2009).

    Should it prove to be the case that the risk is primarily limited to those with a family history (about 8% of U.S. residents have a first or second degree relative with schizophrenia and their average baseline risk can be estimated to be on the order of 4% because of the genes they carry), the greater than 4-times increased risk that they incur with pot smoking would mean (on average) 16% of those individuals would become schizophrenic if they smoked pot. A very substantial portion of them would have to smoke pot in order to have a noticeable impact on the rate of schizophrenia (if all of them smoked, which is certainly not the case, the rate in this country would increase by only 1.3%). But that does not mean that the human toll is small.

  • ohamkrw

    One of the parts you left out of the Time article, “The Link Between Marijuana and Schizophrenia,” reads, “another component of marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) has anti-psychotic effects.”

    This is the first time I have seen the mainstream media admit that marijuana may actually help those with mental illnesses. It also goes a long way towards explaining why so many schizophrenics use marijuana–it helps them.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2005559-2,00.html#ixzz1Ae1v8Fin

  • bugmenot

    “[The shooting] should remind us why we regulate marijuana.”

    But we don’t regulate marijuana! We have given the market over to dangerous gangsters who sell pot to whoever they can. Regulating it would involve the government stepping in and ensuring that mentally ill people and children could not access pot, but instead, anyone can get it with little to no difficulty!

  • Carney

    Interesting. Hadn’t known about this.

  • getreal

    For all those drinkers who want to war on pot with raids and cages because of some perceived damage, the age of hypocrisy is over. The long war of lies and disinformation is over. Start by putting your deadly alcohol down if you are sincere, otherwise you are a fraud. Pure, plain, and simple.

    As is clear by these comments, the American people are onto you and your lies.

    Everybody here and everywhere KNOWS that alcohol is used in 100′s of spousal/bar murders a year. So by your own logic you must put your alcohol down, if you really care. But you won’t because you don’t really care; it’s all BS, and everybody knows it.

    People of America, we can’t let these mainstream fools who spout this nonsense because they get paid to spread fear keep lying with A DRUG IN THEIR HAND, alcohol, which is used during MURDER every week. (Yes everyone, alcohol is just another drug, and one with a long filthy history. And bars, taverns, and clubs are just drug dens, wake up!)

    If you want to war on pot then YOU MUST also want alcohol illegal for the same reason, or you are just a lying hypocrite. And everybody knows it, including God.

    This is the way to end this unholy pot war.

  • ste4ve

    The time of this post was around 1 a.m., and we all know nothing good ever happens after 1 o’clock in the morning. Perhaps Frum was BWI (blogging while intoxicated). If so, David, we forgive you. It can happen to anyone.

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  • getreal

    @ste4ve, It’s 2011. I’m tired of excuses and trying to “bring up the drunkin baby.” As the comments show, so are the American people. No more excuses, no more forgiveness for these pot-warring, alcohol drug users. It’s all a joke and they know it. And so does the American people. The only ones still hanging on like decrepit, wino, relics from the dark ages, is the ones getting paid to do so.

    I wonder if Mr. Frum remembers any of his college logic.

    Alcohol is involved in 100s of spousal/bar MURDERS A YEAR.
    Therefore if the pot war is a JUST WAR, then so MUST a war on alcohol be just, for same reason.
    So to be rational (see Susan K. Langer, Symbolic Logic),
    Frum MUST also support a war on alcohol. There is no way out.

    But Frum would cry and say that isn’t a JUST WAR; that’s an UNJUST WAR!!!
    And for the same reason – if he is rational – the pot war is an UNJUST WAR.
    Or, he and his kind can get the raids and cages out and go to war on alcohol.

    Is Frum rational?

    There’s the sad logic of it. Ruining millions of lives, caging a million pot smokers a year. Costing the people 100′s of millions of dollars in lost tax revenue. And even sadder, God knows it too. And God doesn’t like drunkin unjust war mongers (see Napoleon, Hitler, et al.)

    However, to the many people here who have seen through the lies and disinformation about pot and alcohol, congratulations!! I’m extremely impressed. And welcome to the 21st century. Let’s put Frum at the back of the class where he belongs on this, and make him the poster boy of derelict, dark age “thinking” that doesn’t belong in the 21st century for God’s sake.

    The time is now to end this pathetic unGodly, unAmerican, unConstitutional, irrational, drunkin, madness. This is the way to end the Unjust pot war. (see Catholic doctrine on Just War).

  • John38Chase

    We give the drug too much credit.

    Drugs, including alcohol, don’t cause abuse, just as guns don’t cause murder. The abuse — and the murder — are in the person’s genes, nurture and environment. If we tried to stamp out drugs and guns, the abuse and murder would still find a way to happen… albeit on a lesser scale… but still happen. And the unintended consequences could easily outweigh the reduced incidence of abuse and murder. We saw that during National Prohibition(1920-1933) and we’re seeing it with the drug war(1970- ______).

  • Diomedes

    I know I am late to this thread, but I did want to add something.

    The individual that wrote this article has clearly never actually smoked pot. If he had, he would have never written anything so ridiculous.

    Marijuana’s primary effects are classified as follows:

    “The psychoactive effects of cannabis, known as a “high”, are subjective and can vary based on the individual and the method of use. Some effects may include an altered state of consciousness, euphoria, feelings of well-being, relaxation or stress reduction, increased appreciation of humor, music or art, joviality, metacognition and introspection, enhanced recollection (episodic memory), increased sensuality, increased awareness of sensation, increased[23] or decreased libido, disruption of linear memory or thought, nostalgia, and paranoia or anxiety.”

    Has anyone ever chatted with someone who is stoned? They are the most mellow individuals on the planet. And that is due to the drug having a ‘calming’ effect on the psyche.

    So please, can we stop this endearing predilection that our society has on always trying to find some smoking gun in any situation and accept the facts that the answers are far more complex?

    Oh, and that includes blaming guns for this. Or video games. In the end, WE are responsible for our actions. And the largest factor that effect how we govern our lives are genetics.

  • jquintana

    If any of you are open-minded enough to read Michelle Malkin’s lead story on her website, you might just learn something…it’s called “The Progressive “Climate of Hate:” An Illustrated Primer, 2000-2010″:

    http://michellemalkin.com/

  • kindness

    David….what have you been smoking? Must be something god awful and definitely not high grade marijuana.

    Of all the looney Op-Ed’s I’ve seen on the assassin, your’s is the craziest. Please write something useful and witty to balance out this one.

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  • shano

    You left out the FACT that this kid drank a bottle of tequila and passed out in class and had to be hospitalized. His fellow students say his brain was damaged even more by this incident.

    He also had stopped smoking pot last year and his mental problems got WORSE.

    How about instead of more pot restrictions we say that kids who are not sane enough to attend school should be restricted from buying semi automatic weapons?

  • fauxpopuli

    Or maybe Frum has no idea what he’s talking about and is engaging in idle speculation, both to the effect that the kid was schizophrenic* and that pot was involved in his part in the shooting:

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/jared-lee-loughner-friend-voicemail-phone-message?page=2

    ” In October 2008, Tierney was living in Phoenix, and Loughner came to visit. They went to see a Mars Volta concert with friends, and Tierney was surprised when Loughner said he had quit partying “completely.” Loughner, according to Tierney, said, “I’m going to lead a more healthy lifestyle, not smoke cigarettes or pot anymore, and I’m going to start working out.” Tierney was happy for his friend: “I said, ‘Dude, that’s awesome.’ And the next time I saw him he was 10 pounds lighter.” Tierney never saw Loughner smoke marijuana again, and he was surprised at media reports that Loughner had been rejected from the military in 2009 for failing a drug test: “He was clean, clean. I saw him after that continuously. He would not do it.” ”

    I agree that the guy obviously sounds a bit off. But schizophrenia — and maybe you’re going to be amazed to hear this — is not the only form of mental illness out there. The emerging *possibility* that pot is bad for schizophrenics combined with the emerging *possibility* that Jared Loughner has any of the myriad forms of mental illness that exist works out to “David Frum is engaging in irresponsible speculation of a different sort.”

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  • MTfromCC

    Seriously, David? How can somebody so reasonable a good part of the time be such a complete maroon when it comes to the issue of marijuana and its effect on the human brain? Perhaps you should devotre more of your energy to launching a war on alcohol, which is well known and understood to be a factor in the commission of acts of violence against others. But pot? Really?

    According to one of his few friends, interviewed by Mother Jones, Loughner had stopped smoking pot since at least October 2008. Maybe if Jared were still smoking pot, this would never have happened. But hey, why should you let a few facts get in the way of taking shots at an easy target.

    Somebody ought to regulate idiots who write about subjects they obviously know nothing about, and who get facts wrong while constructing twisted arguments that are an embarassment to the intellect. Actually, I can do that — I should just stop wasting any more of my time reading your blog.

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  • vesica

    Hey, Frum. Did you see the part where he dropped out of school shortly after getting alcohol poisoning? Maybe he was an alcoholic? Maybe alcohol is to blame? Maybe we should ban alcohol? I’m sure there’s some studies you could pull out of thin air linking the two. Better yet, I’m positive there are actual, credible studies linking alcohol abuse to physical violence. But, wait, doesn’t fit your vilification of cannabis narrative. And hell would rain down if you had a post entitled: “Did alcohol trigger Giffords shooting?” Can’t implicate America’s favorite drug.
    End of the day, save your grasping-at-straws, sophmoric speculation for your dinner table – because you’re doing more harm than good.

  • Ouroboros

    ecomergence //

    “Based on his history, David Frum is intelligent,”

    Are you not aware of that whole “Axis of Evil” thing?

  • Ouroboros

    I like how someone can say “If your mind is open enough, you should read this Michelle Malkin piece.” I think someone says that because he knows that Malkin is a lunatic, and in order to appreciate her your mind has to be opened wide enough for your brain to have fallen out.

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  • KingofthePaupers

    Jct: David Frum’s a Canadian silver-spooner who helped George Bush do his wars. Considering marijuana has been found to regrow brain-cells by U. of Saskatchewan (no one expects low-tech David to keep up to date), it’s pretty obvious Frum hasn’t regrown any new ones. As a matter of fact, wasn’t it after he quit healthy herb that he went nuts? You can always count on Canada’s silver-spooner to puke us all out with his non-sensical low-tech logic. When was the last time you ever heard of a marijuana user becoming violent? What a discredit to Canada’s star trek generation.

  • KingofthePaupers

    Is`t David Frum a never-ending source of nausea though he`s the only Canadian I know who can claim some responsibility for killing all those innocent Iraqis who didn`t do 911.

  • firefox007

    “These patients either developed schizophrenia within a month of beginning to smoke pot…”

    Ha! That is hilarious! Dozens of people just became seriously mentally-ill a few weeks after smoking some pot…?! If anything remotely like that was seriously true, everyone would have heard about it; it would be front-page news around the world! Marijuana would suddenly have huge penalties against its use and NO ONE would ever try it even once! This just cannot be true; society would have literally millions of new mentally-ill people around, that is not happening, despite continued use of pot every day.

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  • Ouroboros

    The Axis of Evil is Alan Greenspan, Megatron, Skeletor.

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  • Lavender

    Total fail, Frum, total fail.

    Sarah Palin’s contribution to the toxic atmosphere is far more responsible for Saturday’s events than pot is, and lax gun laws are far more responsible than her.

    According to his friend, “In October 2008, Tierney was living in Phoenix, and Loughner came to visit. They went to see a Mars Volta concert with friends, and Tierney was surprised when Loughner said he had quit partying “completely.” Loughner, according to Tierney, said, “I’m going to lead a more healthy lifestyle, not smoke cigarettes or pot anymore, and I’m going to start working out.” Tierney was happy for his friend: “I said, ‘Dude, that’s awesome.’ And the next time I saw him he was 10 pounds lighter.” Tierney never saw Loughner smoke marijuana again, and he was surprised at media reports that Loughner had been rejected from the military in 2009 for failing a drug test: “He was clean, clean. I saw him after that continuously. He would not do it.”

    After Loughner apparently gave up drugs and booze, “his theories got worse,” Tierney says. “After he quit, he was just off the wall.” And Loughner started to drift away from his group of friends about a year ago. By early 2010, dreaming had become Loughner’s “waking life, his reality,” Tierney says. “He sort of drifted off, didn’t really care about hanging out with friends. He’d be sleeping a lot.” Loughner’s alternate reality was attractive, Tierney says. “He figured out he could fly.” Loughner, according to Tierney, told his friends, “I’m so into it because I can create things and fly. I’m everything I’m not in this world.”

    So whatever to you and your witch-hunt, buddy.

  • ThinkRightAgain

    The pot head angle is just Stupid. Let’s pretend that this crazy guy went to the rally and started smoking pot, how many people would have been harmed?
    And the drug laws that throw people in jail without presenting any evidence, those hurt real people also. Check out this guy.
    http://www.johnknock.com/