« Seeking reader suggestions for really tough (sentencing) questions for AG nominee William Barr | Main | First scheduled execution of 2019 stayed by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals »

January 15, 2019

Spotlighting continuing important debates over marijuana, mental illness and violence

Regular readers know I am quite interested in the intersection of marijuana reform and broader criminal justice issues (which partially accounts for why I have this other blog and this academic center).  So, it should come as no surprise that I have been following with interest the discussions and debates being stirred up by Alex Berenson's new book, "Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence."  The publisher's page about the this book highlights reasons why it is getting a lot of attention and a lot of push back:

An eye-opening report from an award-winning author and former New York Times reporter reveals the link between teenage marijuana use and mental illness, and a hidden epidemic of violence caused by the drug—facts the media have ignored as the United States rushes to legalize cannabis....

THC — the chemical in marijuana responsible for the drug’s high — can cause psychotic episodes. After decades of studies, scientists no longer seriously debate if marijuana causes psychosis.

Psychosis brings violence, and cannabis-linked violence is spreading. In the four states that first legalized, murders have risen 25 percent since legalization, even more than the recent national increase. In Uruguay, which allowed retail sales in July 2017, murders have soared this year.

I have not yet had a chance to read Berenson's book, but I have had a chance to cover some of his commentaries and now others' commentaries taking issue with many of his claims over at  over at Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform.  I thought it worthwhile to flag that coverage now over here, in part because I would not be surprised to see this important debate mentioned at some point during the confirmation hearing for AG nominee William Barr if he gets asked about federal marijuana laws and policies:

An especially helpfully addition to this discussion this morning comes from The Marshall Project, which has this great new piece with great contributors under the headline "How Dangerous is Marijuana, Really? A Marshall Project virtual roundtable."

January 15, 2019 at 09:45 AM | Permalink

Comments

Its "Reefer Madness" again. been there done that. Gov. lost all credibility years ago with respect to marijuana. Now that the wolf is actually at the door, nobody believes it.

Posted by: anon12 | Jan 15, 2019 5:14:15 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB