Although some shocking crimes may have no rhyme or reason, others may point investigators to a history of mental illness and drug abuse. In a recent article entitled Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence, author Alex Berenson suggests that that the legalization of cannabis may very well portend an increase in crime because “marijuana can cause or worsen severe mental illness” that sometimes is linked to violence.
Berenson confirms that today’s marijuana is different from what was circulating during the 60’s and 70’s hippie era; it is far more potent with THC concentrations of 25% or more compared to 2% a generation ago. Legalization of this new marijuana not only correlates to an increase in heavy use, abuse and addiction, but also to an explosion of psychosis cases hitting emergency rooms – “90,000 cases, 250 a day, triple the number in 2006”. Among those who suffer are teens who are three times as likely to develop schizophrenia after using marijuana three times a week or more.
Of course, mental illness is one thing and violence another, but sometimes the two intersect. According to Berenson, an analysis published in PLOS Medicins, a peer reviewed journal, found that people with schizophrenia are “five times as likely to commit violent crimes as healthy people, and almost 20 times as likely to commit homicide.” A “2010 review of earlier studies in Schizophrenia Bulletin“ found that 27 percent of people with schizophrenia are diagnosed with cannabis use disorder” – aka marijuana abuse and addiction problems – and, “unfortunately cannabis appears to provoke many of them to violence”.
Those who have lobbied for the legalization of marijuana have touted the benefits, including the potential for reducing drug crime arrests and incarceration. However, a bigger picture may be emerging about the societal and legal consequences of easy access with regard to violent crime. If you or a family member has been arrested and charged with a violent crime, it is important to get help. Contact the Waukesha Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd LLC for immediate assistance today.
Source: Imprimis, “Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence“, by Alex Berenson, January 2019