There are good arguments for and against legalizing various drugs. The libertarian claims in favor of drug legalization are mostly ridiculous, but there is a cost of prohibition that has to be respected. There’s a cost to legalization as well. Anyway, I stopped reading Peter Hitchens regularly because he seems to have been driven mad by cannabis.
Can you put two and two together? Have a try. The authorities, and most of the media, cannot.
Did you know that the Copenhagen killer, Omar El-Hussein, had twice been arrested (and twice let off) for cannabis possession? Probably not.
It was reported in Denmark but not prominently mentioned amid the usual swirling speculation about ‘links’ between El-Hussein and ‘Islamic State’, for which there is no evidence at all.
El-Hussein, a promising school student, mysteriously became so violent and ill- tempered that his own gang of petty criminals, The Brothers, actually expelled him.
Something similar happened in the lives of Lee Rigby’s killers, who underwent violent personality changes in their teens after becoming cannabis users.
The recent Paris killers were also known users of cannabis. So were the chaotic drifters who killed soldiers in Canada last year. So is the chief suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013.
I might add that though these are all Muslims, who for rather obvious reasons are to be found among the marginalised in Europe and North America, it is not confined to them.
Jared Loughner, who killed six people and severely injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona in 2011, was also a confirmed heavy cannabis user. When I searched newspaper archives for instances of violent crimes in this country in which culprits were said to be cannabis users, I found many.
One notable example was the pointless killing of Sheffield church organist Alan Greaves, randomly beaten to death by two laughing youths on Christmas Eve 2012. Both were cannabis smokers.
By itself, the link is interesting. I wonder how many other violent criminals would turn out to be heavy cannabis users, if only anyone ever asked.
I wonder how many violent criminals drank milk as a child? Ate cookies? Were heavy beer drinkers? I could probably run through a few hundred items that are common to all violent criminals that have nothing to with making them violent. It’s the same nonsense drug warriors used to employ back in the old days. They would claim that marijuana was a gateway drug, leading to harder drugs. They would point out that heroin users all started with pot, as if all potheads are going to be chasing the dragon.
There is some evidence that chronic cannabis use leads to mental health trouble. In my youth, I knew a few guys who became stoners. They clearly got dumber and slovenly. The term “fried” has been applied to chronic pot smokers for forty years. It’s not called “chronic” by accident. Still, there’s a big difference between daily use and occasional use. There’s a world of difference between being a burnout and being a violent criminal. The available science suggest the link between cannabis and violence is non-existent.
The more probably issue is that regular pot smoking triggers severe mental illness in certain populations. Given the ubiquity of pot use, that population is tiny. Alcohol makes some men frighteningly violent, but that’s not a reason to ban alcohol. As I said at the start, I’m skeptical about the benefits of legalization, but these claims by Hitchens suggest he has been drive mad by the demon weed.