Harmless Pot. Sure.


I have never represented a heroin junkie or a meth head who didn’t start with marijuana.  Legalization of it is now all the rage in Democrat controlled states like Illinois, and it is a stupid mistake.  From Rod Dreher:

Berenson’s book is a game-changer. In his New Yorker piece, Malcolm Gladwell writes straightforwardly about the overwhelming scientific evidence that marijuana is a hell of a lot more problematic than many of us think. Excerpt:

Berenson begins his book with an account of a conversation he had with his wife, a psychiatrist who specializes in treating mentally ill criminals. They were discussing one of the many grim cases that cross her desk—“the usual horror story, somebody who’d cut up his grandmother or set fire to his apartment.” Then his wife said something like “Of course, he was high, been smoking pot his whole life.”

Of course? I said.

Yeah, they all smoke.

Well . . . other things too, right?

Sometimes. But they all smoke.

Berenson used to be an investigative reporter for the Times, where he covered, among other things, health care and the pharmaceutical industry. Then he left the paper to write a popular series of thrillers. At the time of his conversation with his wife, he had the typical layman’s view of cannabis, which is that it is largely benign. His wife’s remark alarmed him, and he set out to educate himself. Berenson is constrained by the same problem the National Academy of Medicine faced—that, when it comes to marijuana, we really don’t know very much. But he has a reporter’s tenacity, a novelist’s imagination, and an outsider’s knack for asking intemperate questions. The result is disturbing.

I’ll say. Read his piece to find out why. Or even better, check out Stephanie Mencimer’s detailed report in Mother Jones, the San Francisco-based left-wing magazine. I’m sure it’s going to wind up subscribers. Excerpts:

Go here to read the rest.

More to explorer


  1. My drug addiction started with marijuana. When the combination of alcohol and marijuana were not potent enough, I graduated to heroin and cocaine. I will say this: the illegality of marijuana did nothing to stop my addiction and alcoholism. But that said, legalizing marijuana is only going to worsen the addiction problem by increasing its availability. Yes, there is a genetic component to addiction. There is also an environmental component, and marijuana is a demonstrated part of the environmental component. That doesn’t mean that addiction always occurs because of marijuana use, nor does it mean that all marijuana users are addicts (I know those who used marijuana in their youth and have not a trace of addiction – they simply stopped). But I will say that marijuana use increases the likelihood of eventual addiction. Making it illegal doesn’t stop all addiction, but by reducing availability, it reduces the likelihood of addiction.

    PS, as always, I recommend for the suffering addict and alcoholic the following:


    Another PS: an addict is an alcoholic is an addict is an alcoholic. You cannot stop one and think you can use the other with impunity. Once the obsessive, compulsive chemical disorder takes hold of the mind, only complete abstinence from all mood altering substances on a daily basis offers a reprieve. And that requires some kind of program of recovery like AA or NA. Once an alcoholic or addict, always an alcoholic or addict, although sometimes an underwhelming minority of addicts or alcoholics may have some kind of religious experience which grants a true healing. That however (while it happened to my father) is unusual and rare. Now you may disagree with me, but I have 33 years of experience (and lots of AA and NA meetings) that say otherwise.

  2. Beer was long considered the drink of moderation as this split mural from England of gin and beer halls suggests.

    As a rule I don’t drink hard alcohol or wine which typically has twice the alcohol of beer.
    I’ll have 12 ounces to a pint of beer a day. It’s not a problem and keeps me on the treadmill. My children also drink beer, and having been exposed to it at home did not stray off the rails in college in drugs or any addiction.
    Moderation in all things.
    (I also love Homebrewing beer.)

  3. I won’t swear to this, but I believe in a majority of cases (at least enough to be statistically significant) these nutjobs who shoot up schools and churches, malls and nightclubs, are heavy pot users as well.

  4. We do actually know a rather lot about pot– it’s just mostly bad, which folks don’t want to hear.

    Thanks to the internet, you can even find study after study after study where they examined the effects of pot– overwhelmingly negative. Although there is a little progress with some of the compounds that can counter some of the bad effects of smoking pot, like that epilepsy drug, and of course CBD oil is promising.

  5. For the most harrowing anecdotal evidence, talk to some cops. Small town or big city, doesn’t matter. They all have stories about seriously deranged behavior and it nearly always involves “weed” at some point, in some fashion. Legalization is societal insanity.

  6. All I know about pot is that because I live in one those states still plagued by Progressive Era referendum and initiative laws, I have to vote down marijuana legalization every. other. year. Because potheads won’t take no for an answer.

  7. @ David WS – I agree. There is a difference between moderate alcohol use and marijuana use in any form. But I combined both. Thus, I have lost my “license” to use either. That said, nothing wrong with a glass of beer or wine, or a shot of whiskey or vodka. But if I did that, then I wouldn’t pick up with my addiction where I left off. Rather, it would be as though I had never stopped, and at my age I would be dead in a week.

    @ Frank – One of the best things my AA sponsor did for me was to take me on out going meetings to the Fishkill State Penitentiary (now called the Fishkill Correctional Facility). I learned that 90% of those in prison were drinking or drugging when they committed the crime that put them there. And I got the experience of a life time when being locked in a large meeting room prison cell with 18 hard core long term prisoners, I was approached by a big black inmate who told me that the only reason I hadn’t landed in jail where he was is because by God’s grace I didn’t get caught, and equally by God’s grace he did. My AA sponsor then whispered to me that I hadn’t sunk low enough to need the State to wack me aside the head with the baseball bat of the justice system, but God was leaving that in my “yets” – “you’re elgible too” – just in case I needed a special message from the Holy Spirit. 😉 God would let happen to me whatever was required to get me sober. Whether I cooperated with grace or not was entirely up to me. As I often said, his sponsor, a Franciscan priest and my priest confessor, always agreed.

  8. Related:

    Marijuana has been the beneficiary of one of the slickest, most sustained advertising campaigns in human history. Not only do millions believe it is some sort of medicine. Most people, even law enforcers, describe it as a ‘soft’ drug. This is an absurdity. Lifelong mental illness is not a ‘soft’ outcome. So, even when its use is clearly linked with mental illness and terrible crime, nobody even asks if it might be to blame. Its defenders chant ‘correlation is not causation’. Of course this is true. But correlation is also not necessarily not causation. Correlation is the foundation of epidemiology.

  9. I think as the Bible says, “Love of money is the root of all evil.” I know from hearsay evidence that there’s lots of money to be made from growing legal pot and that will negate evidence that it’s harmful. Moreover, we have the media to blame for leading us to the view that pot is just another intoxicant: all the scenes where “edibles”–brownies with pot in them are lotsa fun. like the scenes with the funny drunks.

  10. I think the relevant datapoint, Bob, is that there’s lots to tax to be collected from the sale of legal pot.

  11. that all the arguments people use in support of legalizing marijuana work just as well for legalizing prostitution sex work.

    So I guess that’ll be the next fence to get torn down in the name of Progress.

  12. I just find it immensely ironic that the group of people often advocating for things like warnings about cigarette use in movies etc are often the same group advocating for weed legalization.

    Thus my proposed compromise: legalize weed but put tobacco companies in charge of it.

  13. Ernst, I don’t know about pot use by the teenager who became school shooters, but I think nearly everyone one of them were on strong anti-depression meds. (Which were not developed for or tested upon children or teenagers)

  14. Jared Loughner (the guy who did the actual shooting Sarah Palin was blamed for –back when Democrats were opposed to rhetorical violence) was a heavy pot user according to the Peter Hitchens article I linked. I believe (but don’t know, and don’t plan to go researching) the Sandy Hook school shooter, the Parkland school shooter, and the Columbine shooters were all pot users as well.

    There’s no doubt mental illness, antidepressants, and marijuana use are all correlated, even if the chain of causation needs to be worked out.

  15. My worse experience with pot in the late ’60s was coughing incessantly once I started with that first cough while trying to hold the smoke in. The best part? The munchies.

    A lot of hypocrisy on the pro-pot crowd as Nate said. They told you you were gross for smoking cigs and that you smelled to high heaven. Keep your 2nd hand smoke away from me! It’s bad for your lungs!!
    ProPotters: Pot however is natural product. It hurts no one. It’s safe and medicinal. Make it legal to protect the children. Legalizing pot will put cartels out of business. Its a safe way to relax…BS.

    Colorado legalized pot in 2014. There have been 24 mass shootings in the last 6 years in CO. Nah, no correlation

  16. Thanks for all these great comments… typically the only people who post on are pot pusher and user (Pot Docs the new legal drug dealers). This is truly one of the devil’s work. Colorado’s teen suicide has rate has increased 58% in 3 years. The cause of one in 5 teen deaths. More information on my website. At least once a week I correct people and say, ” Medical marijuana is NOT a prescription and is NOT FDA approved.”

  17. I posted a link to your web site on my FB page, Teresa. Good information. Thank you. Thank God I got sober when I did some 33 years ago instead of today. Given marijuana’s increase in intoxicating potency over the past decades, I would surely be dead.

  18. Unfortunately, do-gooders who had seized the federal government’s drug abuse prevention apparatus blocked virtually all research into the effects of marijuana since the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Ironically, the suppression of research into marijuana and cannabinoids left myths about the harmlessness of pot unchecked, pot proponents could trot out their feel-good anecdotes unchallenged by good science that could have documented pot’s numerous harmful effects.

  19. From Claims Journal;

    Insurance Group Says Data Suggests Cannabis is Increasing Accident Rates
    March 14, 2019 by Jim Sams
    Preliminary research indicates that the legalization of recreational marijuana in 10 states has increased accident rates, the Insurance Information Institute said Wednesday.

    The group cited an October 2018 study by the Highway Loss Data Institute that shows collision claim frequency was 12.5% higher in Colorado and 9.7% higher in Washington than in nearby states that did not legalize recreational use of marijuana. Oregon also had a 1% greater rate of collision claims than neighboring states.

    Michigan has been shaken down by high automobile insurance premiums for years.
    I wonder what increase the carrier’s have in mind now that legalized pot has found a home in the great lake state?


  20. Micha-
    that’s actually a myth. Pops up every so often in different forms, most recent one I heard was that it’s been illegal to study beneficial effects since the 1920. (Which I was able to disprove by looking at the papers. ^.^ )

    Best guess, it’s a justification for why the studies keep finding nothing of use in THC.

    The DEA even freakin’ provides the pot for researchers:
    They usually have to destroy a lot, because nobody wants to bother with it. You can study most of the promising stuff using hemp.

  21. “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” – Alex Berenson, the author, was interviewed on radio WMAL’s Larry O’Connor Show and Tucker Carlson Show some months back. Pot, state legal, medicinal or otherwise has the potential of sickening a whole generation. Zombies. No surprise that Berenson has been attacked by the pro pot lobby.
    When parents try to be the “cool” parents and use with their children, it’s child abuse.
    In the military I was a member of and later presided over many boards when sailors and officers failed their drug tests. It’s not benign. Some sad stories on careers thrown away; however there is just no place for it in the armed services. The Federal government has not legalized the use of cannabis in any form.
    In many, many cases of bus, subway, train and barge accidents cannabis use is the underlying cause.
    Gavin Newsome, the California governor, even admitted the reason he’s pulling the National Guard off the southern border is because the pot plantations in the north of the state have become troublesome. More untaxed growers, but more seriously the cartels have moved into the business and it’s become violent.
    CBD (no THC) derived from hemp is promising medically. Last I read for law enforcement the testing to differentiate the two drugs is very expensive.

  22. CAM-
    Technical geekery, the THC content has to be below a set level, but best case the THC is at zero– and all the DEA guys I know think CBD is a great thing which should be promoted, exactly because it’s herbal therapy level stuff at least and has some really promising stuff at best.

    But it doesn’t get you high.

    So the pot dudes hate it.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: