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Science Should Guide Marijuana Policy

August 18, 2014

In a series of recent articles, The New York Times’ editors presented a case for repealing the federal ban on marijuana, including the disproportionate impact of current marijuana laws on minorities. While there is no question that we should rectify any injustices associated with such policies, we also need to consider and prepare for the escalation in social and health costs that could result from creating a third legal drug in this country.  We should be thoughtfully examining all policy and regulatory options available to minimize harms to society and promote Americans’ safety, well-being, and competitiveness.

Marijuana leaf

We do not yet know how marijuana will affect vulnerable populations like older people or those with physical or mental health problems. We do know that marijuana increases the risk of car accidents (about 2-fold on its own, even more in combination with alcohol). And the science of marijuana’s long-term effects is increasingly clear. Besides being addictive, marijuana is cognitively impairing even beyond the phase of acute intoxication and regular use during adolescence may cause a significant, possibly permanent IQ loss. Brain scans in users who started when they were young show impaired neural development, probably because cannabis interferes with normal brain maturation.

There is no reason to think laws limiting marijuana to adults will be any more successful than comparable laws for cigarettes or alcohol. Legalization will likely increase the already substantial proportion of teens that use marijuana regularly and thus put themselves at a competitive disadvantage in school and life.  As a nation already faltering in educational achievement, we should not hamstring our competitiveness in this area further.

As states consider modifying their marijuana laws, it is crucial they use science to guide their decision making, learn from past mistakes, and act to prevent the establishment of a “big marijuana” industry that will benefit from creating and sustaining a new generation of young people addicted to their product. Furthermore, we have a responsibility to ensure our nation’s healthcare workforce is prepared to respond to both the increased interest in the potential therapeutic uses of marijuana as well as its negative health consequences that policy changes will likely spur.

Approaching drug use as a public health issue should be a critical goal, and these approaches should be informed by science.

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Comments

legalizing marijuana

This is very bad legislation! Our younger generation will be an or presently in jeopardy. This plant when smoked affects clarity of mind!!!

Cannabis and psychosis

Could you please comment on the evidence that cannabis may be a causal component of schizophrenia and other psychoses?

Available research suggests

Available research suggests that marijuana may contribute to the development of psychotic disorders in individuals who have a pre-existing genetic or other vulnerability. This review summarizes the science so far.

Stop the lies

Can we please for once get the real science and not your blah blah. I've heard this nonsense since I was a child and had to endure the fried egg campaign to keep kids off drugs. Miss Nora, your own government web sites have numerous articles touting the safety and medicinal use of cannabis. It was this same government that synthesized the plant for it's medical benefits. How can you keep lying to the public? How can you keep claiming it has no benefits when anyone with a computer can track down the government patents and studies done at respected Universities? They can research for themselves how this plant was demonized in the first place by large companies looking to stop the competition. The same sites have stories about hundreds upon thousands of lawsuits and deaths associated with the pharmaceuticals that have been deemed safe. Please stop already. This demonizing of a plant has caused so much more harm in the last 70 years. If you are going to keep posting your chicken little act then at least add to it the full reports. Show us the science such as the chemical makeup of the plant. Tell us just what percentage of THC is used in the so called 'studies' that say it's harmful. Try to study the medicinal aspects of the plant and use it's oil instead of watching people smoke it. Get out of your office and go visit some hospitals. Visit the patients saying their diseases have been cured by this plant. Then, if you dare, go visit any cancer ward and speak with the children who are dying. Talk to their parents about how harmful they think cannabis is compared to the chemo that's being pumped into their little bodies. Frankly at this point, I don't care if making it legal causes more children to try it. When and if they do, they will decide for themselves if it's worth continuing. Whether or not they ever try cannabis, they will some day be given a deadly drug by some doctor. What about that problem now Miss Nora? How many prescriptions are you on? How many die everyday because of these legal 'beneficial' medicines? Enough already! We are sick of the bold face lies.

I can't believe this propaganda

While it's a waste of time to even bother commenting. I have to make one point. You said this should be treated as a public health issue but in the same writing piece you advise that every person that consumes cannabis should be arrested and prosecuted. That's not treating this like a public health issue that's treating this whole mess as a criminal matter. It's a shame if you believe the stuff you've written, we should be advocating for the truth not spreading misinformation.

A scientific study on the comparison of harms is needed

Dear Dr. Volkow,

Firstly let me applaud your defense of policy based on science. I agree that our scientific understanding of public health issues should absolutely inform policy. Furthermore, I have examined in depth the many NIDA supported studies of cannabis's potential negative effects, and agree with your assertion that there is ample evidence to suggest that consumption of cannabis, especially by the young, likely invites serious health risks.

Despite my agreement with these points, I feel that there has not been adequate study on the totality of societal harms caused by the use of cannabis (either in it's current illegal context, or in the anticipated expansion of use in a legal context) in contrast to the totality of societal harms caused by it's prohibition. It would seem to me that such study would be a necessary first step to adequately inform public policy.

Based on this paucity of evidence, I would expect that any assertion that the totality of societal harm is reduced by maintaining the current prohibitions on the sale and use of cannabis cannot be supported scientifically.

Based on some studies that I have read, it would seem that by coupling a legalization of cannabis with strong regulation and a strong public health education campaign aimed at informing the public of potential dangers, that the total usage increase could be successfully minimized, while at the same time dramatically reducing the costs and societal harms caused by the current law enforcement approach, resulting in a net reduction in societal harms.

However, I am not yet convinced on the quality of that research, and believe that neither NIDA nor NIH has yet supported any such investigation into this question. I'd therefore presume you don't feel comfortable at present commenting on it's accuracy.

Will NIDA at some point support such research to better inform public policy?

Thank You for your consideration of my comment.

Look at the children

Here are many of the children that have had to be moved from their home states in hopes of finding help. Our current way of treating their illnesses are failing miserably. Something needs to be done now.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/cannabis-for-children_n_4697135...

It's too bad the research

It's too bad the research funding has typically funded negative studies. Science is supposed to be an unbiased approach to finding answers, however in this case, marihuana has been subject to very biased funding tactics. If a scientist wants to show positive effects they must seek private funding since the agenda of drug policy has been to eradicate rather illucidate.

NIDA and several other

NIDA and several other Institutes at the NIH do currently support projects looking at the therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. For more information, see: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana/marijuana-research-nida

Enough is enough - no more double standards.

To whom it may concern: Could you imagine how many people would die if all our pharmacies suddenly decided to sell OTC drugs in 1kg bricks or 1g baggies, with no mention of the ingredients or purity level, nor how much equals a safe dose?

A street drug consumer has to put up with this sort of thing every time they buy another dose of a controlled substance not approved for medical usage - just pointing that out because it greatly contributes to the death rate in our nation, and everywhere else. The War on Drugs has failed miserably. It has not met any of its goals or promises set forth over 40 years ago. It has not reduced the availability of controlled substances , which are now far cheaper, far more potent, and more available than they were 40 years ago. I'm not defending peoples' choices to consume street drugs, but I also would never judge them for it. And I'm not suggesting it's risk free, as no drug use is without risk. Is it reckless, risky, and potentially deadly in the worst case scenario to engage in such behavior? Absolutely - especially when it comes to the "harder" substances. That being said, no matter what the potential risks to their health, human beings WILL ALWAYS continue to consume mind altering substances based on preference, regardless of whether they are legal or not. And the reasons for them choosing to use such substances are numerous. The route or path to eventual compulsive drug seeking behavior can be an extremely complicated issue spanning several decades.

Regardless of the reasons some of us persist in risking our lives because we do not prefer alcoholic beverages and/or tobacco/nicotine products, yelling at them for their actions, calling them names, and judging or treating them like criminal scumbags will NOT solve anything and won't help anyone. It will only make things worse. If anything, it will make them want to escape their sober state of mind even more if they are treated irrationally by complete strangers - all because of a plant, powder, or pill. Therefore, if our intention is to sincerely try to help them, the derogatory remarks and the bloated propaganda needs to completely stop, and a radical shift in laws, policies, and education needs to prevail.

I cannot stress this enough: Everyone should never think that socially accepted, regulated, legal drugs such as alcohol are inherently safe for consumption, because they're absolutely not. Not even close. In large amounts, ethyl alcohol has been shown repeatedly to be neurotoxic, hepatotoxic, and cardiotoxic. And in any amount, it is now a Group 1 Carcinogen according to the World Health Organization, and listed beside Asbestos, Formaldehyde, and various radioactive isotopes (among other things). That's correct - any amount of ethyl alcohol consumed by a human being increases the risk of developing cancer. Therefore, if - for example - I am a drinker, and I partake in stigmatizing and ostracizing the "other drug users" for their decision to risk their health to get "high," I believe it's very hypocritical (and ironic, if I was to end up with cancer due to booze).

With respect to tobacco/nicotine products, I won't go any further than to state that every 8 seconds, there is a death somewhere in the world due to this very costly habit which has been shown to be more addictive, more habit-forming than heroin, cocaine, and everything else that's considered a scourge.

I am very concerned for the future of our nation, because if the current drug laws continue to be left as they are, the situation will continue to get progressively worse, as it has for the past 4 decades - ever since Nixon (who happened to be crooked all along) declared War on Drugs for reasons which more and more of us strongly believe had little to do with health concerns, and much more to do with votes, approval ratings, and party donations. After officially declaring war on drugs, Nixon made a promise that America would be free of street drugs by the turn of the decade (1980), and obviously it didn't happen. And if that wasn't bad enough already, In 1998, the United Nations foolishly declared that we would have a drug-free planet within a decade, committing member states to eliminate or significantly reduce use of opiates, cannabis and cocaine as they had all been hoodwinked into ratifying the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaties. Instead, global opiate use rose by more than one-third, with big rises also for cocaine and cannabis. Last year (2013), the British Medical Journal found that street prices had declined over the past two decades, while potency and general availability increased.

So when - and more importantly, how - will this madness end (before one of your loved ones ends up dead too)? Well, Uncle Sam can continue to stubbornly arrest, execute, or even torture every drug dealer his bureaucratic lackeys catch, and it won't make an ounce of a difference, as there's always someone desperate enough to take his/her place. You can also throw all the users in prison, but beware that their drugs of choice are available in there as well - smuggled in by guards looking to make some extra money. Corruption is rampant in law enforcement when it comes to narcotics. Not one prison in America is drug free.

Whatever your opinion on the matter, we must all understand and accept the fact that drug dealers accept a career in drug trafficking knowing full well that it may end in their death or life in prison. So regardless of what is done to them once they are caught and apprehended, the dealing will continue as if nothing happened. As such, if our government truly wants to see a reduction in drug use, things need to change, and radically.

First thing's first - The only way we can hope to cripple a $350 - 400 billion USD illegal industry (and growing very fast) is to either stop the demand, or, take over the supply. It's really not rocket science. Since demand for these drugs will NEVER cease, unfortunately, that means plan B: take over the supply, strictly regulate it, tax the hell out of it, and educate everyone about the dangers of using, as is done with smoking, but don't turn them into criminals, as it won't help them stop in the long term. This decision - while extremely controversial due to decades of propaganda - will help stop the spread of HIV and other diseases, as well as help stop addicts spending whatever money they have on their drug of choice (black market prices are still quite expensive). Not everyone likes alcohol and tobacco, just like not all of us enjoy sushi or chicken. Accept it, and get over it, because some people would rather smoke weed instead of drinking beer - it's what makes us human (unique tastes and preferences).

Secondly, the abstinence-based approach carries with it some very unrealistic expectations and it needs to be dropped in favor of something a little more reasonable, such as harm reduction, which has been proven to be far more effective when properly implemented.

Third - Non-violent drug users should never be considered criminals for the simple act of possessing and consuming a substance. If anything, they need some proper medical attention, and not a stint in prison where they can continue to access their drug of choice. They are suffering enough already, and yet we want to jail the non-violent ones further? Where's the logic in this? Our tax dollars are better spent elsewhere than keeping an otherwise law-abiding individual locked up because he happened to be in possession of some pills, powder, or parts of a plant for personal use. Criminalizing such victimless behavior is far more harmful than the crime of drug possession. Prison is not a place where you go and come out a changed man for the better.

Lastly - the biased propaganda, and the stigma surrounding the street drug using minority must end. Again, no one is suggesting that recreational drug consumption is a good idea. No drug is without risk. But enough with the name-calling and discrimination. They are human beings, not animals. We must have some patience with them. They didn't become addicts overnight, and they certainly cannot stop their addiction overnight either. It's a prolonged process which they will need to stop. It's very sad to think that these individuals would be accepted by society if only they picked another poison to consume - a legal one such as alcohol.

All in all, enough is enough. 4+ decades and no tangible results, but only failures. Over $1,000,000,000,000 USD in tax payer money spent over the past 4 decades in the US alone on efforts to eradicate street drugs for good, with no empirical data to suggest any of it has been a success in the long term. It either stops now, or, it'll stop when too many of the so-called elites are affected and caught, but by then I'm afraid our urban areas will have been turned into war zones due to the unnecessary militarization of our police.

Sick and Tired Already

Malarky. Let's just control everybody. Let's surrender our individual rights as adults and let some "Big Brother" government enforce its will on me as a sentient being. Let's make it illegal for me to harvest honey because I might get stung. Forbid me to swim without a license because I might drown if not properly taught. Is it illegal to drink turpentine? Common sense says we shouldn't do it. Whose life is it, anyway? We are about to surpass George Orwell's 1984 with a vengeance. Take away our guns first, and then you can take anything you want whenever you want. I am 55 years old, and this is not the America I grew up in. If I choose to drink alcohol or smoke a herb, I do not need or respect your permission.

Marijuana and violence

One widespread myth that should be dispelled pronto is this notion that marijuana induces users to be peaceful and non-violent. Popularized by the pro-legalization lobby, many seem to believe strongly that greater world-wide use of marijuana would necessarily make the world more peaceful and that there would be fewer wars. Let me suggest why this is a falsehood.
True, cannabis under the influence is a sedative, but the real harms come later from mental illness after months or years of use.(that's another area of vast confusion for the public)
To wit: Has anybody noticed that many, if not all of the notorious mass murderers on US soil and many abroad over that the last few decades were pot users? Bundy, Manson, Breveik, Holmes, Klebold, Harris, Dahmer, etc. And, has anybody noticed the assassination attempts on US policitians since Sirhan, Sirhan, were all also users of pot? Fromme, Moore, Hinkley, Loughner and now Ortega-Hernandez. In fact, Ortega-Hernandez's express purpose for attempting to assassinate the President was frustration over pot legalization. (there may be some connection between Sirhan and hashish, still unknown), Also, of interest, Chapman who assassinated John Lennon, was a pot user too. And then, many of the major bombers on US soil were pot users as well- the Weather Underground, McVeigh, Nichols, Fortier, the Tsarnaevs, and many other attempts, ALL pot users.
Then we have the innumerable homicides across the land, in just about every newspaper every day, so so many connected to narcotics, every which way you turn, of which the common denominator in every single one of them, is marijuana, And then we have the gangs and their myriads of murders. Yep, they too use marijuana and test postive for it druing arrests. Well, what about the gangs and drug cartels in Mexico who are committin these horrendous atrocities? Yep, them too it appears, though evidence is sketchy and hard to come by. But just like all dealers of narcotics, they must be well familiar with their merchandise. Well what about the terrorists in the Middle East? Apparently them too, where hashish and high potentcy marijuana abound in their culture, Google and you can even see kids smoking hashish, travelers and soldiers will also attest to widespread narcotics use all across the Middle East. Hashish is given to the suicide bombers, the terrorists are heavy users of cannabis, plus narcotics are fundamental to their militant training. It appears this process has been going on in the Middle East for a longtime, whereas in the West, in our 'drugs are beautiful' idiocy, we are merely seeing the tip of the iceberg was cannabis use escalates both in potency and frequency. Likely why so may users attest to the so-called harmlessness of pot, ie the children of the sixties, is because most use was of milder, less potent pot. Once in a while, a predisposed user over indulges over the months or years, devolops a mental derangement, and then for whatever reason, seeks revenge on society through mass murder.
Now, it's impossible to establish causal relationships merely from anecdotal data, ie correlation is not causation. Yet, at least in my opinion, there does appear to be a mental derangement that can develop in some susceptible cannabis users that may deprive them of inhibitions for unleashing the most horrible and unspeakable forms of violence. The exact process at the neuro-biological level is unknown, yet with so, so many cases, it appears something is going on that alters the mind to that end.
Whether science can ever prove this connection, let alone show interest, is one thing. But I think we can all veritably lay to rest this notion that widespread marijuana use (including hashish) will necessarily bring about more world peace. It's a myth.

Did somebody mention "science"?

There is much askew with so many aspects of this whole marijuana 'business' in modern day America. For one, 'medical marijuana' ( a term that should make any reasoned person gasp) is driven by legalization efforts so the myriads of chronic users and addicts can smoke with impunity. Naturally, as with any substance, if there are any 'miracle' compounds in pot that are beneficial to modern medicine, then sure let's do the research. But let's face the reality folks, we ALL know medical marijuana is mainly backdoor strategy toward legalization, like about 99% of it, whereas maybe 1% at best is about contribution to modern medicine. It's a modern hoax of the grandest scale, and it makes one wonder about the integrity of modern medicine (you know the Hippocratic oath). How is it that the FDA can spend years approving many medicines created by the pharmaceutal industry, whereas marijuana, with some FOUR HUNDRED CHEMICALS (est.) gets mostly a free pass? Our society has been completely duped with this medical pot con job, and now, in retrospect it's obvious, the strategy all along has been to innure the American public with marijuana and make it seem normal and commonplace- all geared for eventual legalization. And what's particularly wicked, and I mean really WICKED, is that the effort has had the effect of creating as many addicts and habitual users, so much so as to create a 'critical mass' point so THERE IS NO TURNING BACK! Now we have millions of users, and all the associated mental health problems, who truly and believe that marijuana is their only medicine for what ever ails them- their miracle drug. Let me say it again- just plain wicked.
When used in sufficient quantity, marijuana is truly a powerful, pyschotropic drug that holds its place among all the other powerful narcotics. What has duped much of American society is that millions were simply using mild, mostly non-potent strains all these years. And thus they feel compelled to 'enlighten' the rest of us as to the so called harmlessness of marijuana. And they abound in the national media and are all pushing for legalization, We've got to realize that the habitual user, and the addicted mind, will have a favorable bias for their drug habit, and that means doing anything to maintain the drug habit. They like marijuana, they want to smoke it with impunity, their minds are twisted favorably for marijuana with a kind of reverence, so much so they will intentionally lie and deceive. The fact that so, so much crime in America revolves around narcotics, including marijuana, and yet this 'inconvenient truth' is so readily igored, illustrates the bias. The MSM has two main objectives, one aimed at legalization, and the other is political, to blame guns for violence.
And then the widespread myths are propagated, that violence is because of too many guns, that drug crimes are because of their illegality, and that drug crimes are only committed while being high, or under the direct influence. But note from DEA statistics that the vast majority of violent criminals who are caught test positive for narcotics, 54% is marijuana. But understand too, this is MINIMUM number of users, because many other users won't test positive, as the metabolites have left the system. The percentage of violent criminals who use marijuana could actually be as high as 100%. And then another widespread myth is that criminals will only be violent under the influence of marijuana, ie while being high, whereas the reality is this is a MENTAL HEALTH issue. Chronic users can become mentally deranged, and then become violent because of the ongoing mental illness.
There are many reasons why marijuana has been illegal for all these years. Parents don't want their kids becoming addicts, driving risks, violence from mental illness induced by drugs, etc. Yet what is truly startling with this giant double standard we have is that the American drug culture has financed the most wicked drug cartels and gangs the world has ever known. It's a crying shame for us to ignore the fact that an estimated ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND Mexicans to date have been murdered, all for supplying a drug habit to Americans. How can we possibly ignore this, not even mention it in the national dialogue? It's a modern day Holocaust, and it has creeped up on us. With about any other crime, if you break the law, and somebody else involved commits a murder, you do have blood on your hands. In Mexico we are witnessing crimes against humanity, the most unspeakable ghastly tortures and murders one can ever imagine, yet we Americans go on about our daily business living the good life, completely oblivious to the plight of others just a stone's throw away. The American drug culture has blood on its hands for indirectly financing barbaric crimes, a virtual Holocaust unfolding before our very eyes. Our country needs to come to grasp with this, What shame.

Middle East terrorism rooted in drug induced mental illness?

I suspect abundant hashish use in the Middle East may be the underlying cause for mental illness in some users which combined with Islamic radicalism, may lead to terrorist acts. Oddly few scholars if any realize the extent of narcotics use in the ME let alone suspect mental illness derived or exacerbated from narcotics use a be the underlying cause. Yet the literature is abundant with examples. Many of these terrorists as with IS IS are psychopaths. Dig a little deeper and it is apparent hashish is used prolifically as well as other narcotics such as the amphetamine Captagon. More on this with a follow up comment.

The answer is staring us in the face

Virtually all of these seemingly unexplainable vicious and ghastly crimes occurring domestically and abroad are associated with substance abuse. I think what society tends to classify as pure 'evil' is in reality mental illness which is so often associated with prior use of narcotics. The individuals performing these ghastly crimes all invariably have prior history of drug abuse. Though correlation is not causation, the connection is remarkable. I think the answer is staring us in the face; it's mental derangement either induced or exacerbated by drug abuse. And the common denominator in all of them tends to be cannabis.
By way as a rudimentary model, we know that those under the influence of alcohol can lose their inhibitions at times and can be violent- a temporary mental illness. Certain brain chemistry is momentarily altered. Perhaps pot or hashish abuse depletes inhibitions from violence permanently? Variables may include predisposition, age, etc that may unleash violent tendencies at a later date. The Arabs knew over 800 years ago that hashish could be used to coordinate terrorist attacks. Whether this mere legend or fact, many of the terrorist groups employ that very strategy today. For whatever reason M/E. Experts and scholars do not even acknowledge or even know the extent of hashish use in the Arab world. I think hashish and pot are used abundantly and that a certain portion of the population is mentally ill because of it. Combined with continously ideological bombardment the conditions are ripe for creating terrorists. I do not think they are incensed from reading verses from the Koran. Their psychopathic madness stems from drug induced mental illness- principle hashish and pot.
What we are seeing in America is the mere spillover of this affect- the tip of the iceberg. Plus I am afraid we are naively following in the steps of the Arabs. Pot is depleting inhibitions for violence, more pronounced in some than others. Likely why so many users are not violent is because most users have been using mild strains. I suspect too that much of the vicious violence in Mexican drug trafficking stems not from illegal profit motives but from mental derangement also induced by copious use of pot starting at very early ages.
In the medical world I think society'society's understanding of mental illness is in its infancy. Just as a substance such as mercury was later found to be the poison causing madness in the 19th century we may find that cannabis is at the root of so much of this senseless mayhem.

Thoughts about mental state from drug abuse

I wonder if chronic drug use, particularly marijuana ( hashish), can deplete from the mind sensations of pleasure. That is the users eventually don't care about things- they become deprived of emotions even when not using the drug- a permanent change as though life is meaningless. Could it be the mind's natural cannaniboids become suppressed from marijuana use? At this point some users may be very vulnerable to psychological persuasion. And in extreme cases those individuals have 'tricked' their minds to the point that violent acts substitute for replenishment of the mind's natural cannabinoids?
This might explain the seeming satisfaction many of these violent psychopaths who otherwise appear to be in in a state of stupor. OBL seemed to have that mindset on the videos. The Tsarnaevs too after bombing the Boston Marathon. Same with McVeigh and Nichols and so many of the Middle Eastern terrorists. And many more.
So I am wondering if ALL pot users are gradually depleting their natural cannabinoids to varying degrees, while some are extremely affected, so much so, they have lost all emotions about the value of life?

Questions for NIDA

Even the extensive amount of anecdotal evidence that already exists between prior marijuana or hashish use and violence is understandably insufficient to scientifically establish a causal relationship. The challenges and difficulty among many compounding factors have to date rendered any definitive answer elusive.

Yet it seems the myriads of homicides so often connected to prior marijuana use should at least warrant suspicion. In my opinion, so many of these domestic assassins and bombers, so many of the homicides occurring daily, so many of the Islamic militants, etc. , are sociopaths whose mental illness derived from or was exacerbated by marijuana or hashish use that often began in childhood. The 'evil' presents months or years after the acute intoxication phase.

So my overall question to NIDA is why there is no ongoing national dialogue about this?
Why aren't the politicians, many of the federal agencies, the FBI, the mainstream media, etc, at least WONDERING about the connection with violent crime, mental illness and prior use of marijuana? I find it incredible, even bizarre there is not a national outcry over this. In fact, It's very possible that Colorado recently legalized the very narcotic that created the mental illness that in turn lead to the two most senseless and heinous crimes in that state's history. Did the Governor there at least contemplate this possibility before marijuana was legalized?

Lastly, do the researchers themselves associated with NIDA at least WONDER (personally) if marijuana or hashish use are behind the mental illness that leads to so much of this mayhem?

Find Help Near You

The following website can help you find substance abuse or other mental health services in your area: www.samhsa.gov/Treatment. If you are in an emergency situation, people at this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: 1-800-273-TALK. Or click on: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgExternal link, please review our disclaimer.. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member on our Treatment page.

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