In sorting through the political charges and counter-charges, two facts remain clear: the Arizona shooter, Jared Loughner, was a drug abuser, and drug use is linked to mental illness. In addition to classmates who were quoted as saying that he was a regular user of marijuana, The Washington Post confirmed that he “was rejected from enlistment in the U.S. Army because of issues related to his history of drug use…” Going into more detail, Time magazine reports that Loughner admitted to the military that “he was a regular marijuana user.”
In a provocative article, “Did Pot Trigger Giffords Shooting?,” blogger David Frum wrote, “After the Tucson shooting, there may be renewed pressure to control the weapons that committed the crime. But what about the drugs that may have aggravated the killer’s mental disease?”
This question, however, also has a political dimension. Illegal drugs have been traditionally viewed by the radical left as a weapon of war against the capitalist system, and the movement for drug legalization is mostly a project of the liberal-left.
In her “Declaration of a State of War,” Weather Underground terrorist Bernardine Dohrn had declared marijuana and other mind-altering drugs to be weapons in the revolution. She said, “We fight in many ways. Dope is one of our weapons. The laws against marijuana mean that millions of us are outlaws long before we actually split. Guns and grass are united in the youth underground.”
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was the early funder of the marijuana legalization movement, but funding over the last couple of decades has come from billionaires George Soros, University of Phoenix founder John Sperling, and Progressive Insurance executive Peter Lewis.
President Barack Obama is an acknowledged former user of marijuana, as well as cocaine, and promised the drug lobby that he would ease up on prosecutions of marijuana users.
It appears that Loughner’s arrest for possessing drug paraphernalia in 2007 was dropped from his record after he completed a court diversion program. Otherwise, this could have prevented him from buying a gun and carrying out the rampage.
One of Loughner’s friends is quoted by Mother Jones magazine as saying that he thought that Loughner had given up alcohol and marijuana during the fall of 2008, but that was before he was rejected for Army service on grounds of drug use. Reports of Loughner using drugs continued into his college days and, as late as last June, he was making outbursts and laughing out loud in class. Loughner’s former college instructor, Ben McGahee, recalled that he showed up to class with his face deeply red. “It was as if he was high on drugs,” he said. “He would sit there with a very red face just listening to his iPod and would make these strange mutterings every so often.”
A photograph of a smirking Jared Loughner, after he was taken into custody, seems to prove beyond doubt that he is seriously disturbed, as a result of prolonged drug use. He exhibited symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.
Dr. Howard Osofsky, head of the Department of Psychiatry at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, says, “People who use marijuana, and use it frequently and in high amounts, are more likely to develop mental illness.” The link between marijuana and mental illness is documented in the scholarly and academic work, “Marijuana and Madness.”
Loughner’s use of marijuana apparently began in high school. Caitie Parker, who attended Mountain View High School and Pima Community College along with Loughner, called him a pothead who was “quite liberal” and “left-wing.” He hated religion, listened to acid rock, and posted a link to an American flag-burning video.
Because of the evidence that Loughner was a pothead, and the evidence that marijuana abuse is linked to mental illness, the Soros-funded marijuana lobby is working overtime to try to draw media attention away from his addiction to the drug.
Interestingly, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) had attacked Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously wounded in the shootings, for opposing decriminalization of marijuana.
Giffords had said, “There are serious public health costs associated with drug misuse, as well as larger economic and societal costs. For example, marijuana is often cited as a gateway drug that leads to the use of more dangerous narcotics. For these reasons, I do not support decriminalizing marijuana.”
Now she is fighting for her life because of bullets fired from the gun of a certified marijuana addict.
NORML admits that “…Loughner does sound like the kind of person who should not be smoking pot. It’s never a good idea for people with mental illness like schizophrenia to use cannabis.”
NORML took offense to comments posted on the liberal Huffington Post website from people commenting on one of the bizarre photographs of Loughner: “Looks like my neighbor’s kid. He wears long black rain coats, I’ve seen him strung out on the grass, carries a 357 magnum in hand outside of his house….walks with an attitude, rumors have it that he has been in court for drug possession.….don’t you love this world. Sad, sad and sad…another endorsement for the medical marijuana lobby I am sure.”
Alluding to increasing acceptance of the drug, under the guise of providing “medicine,” David Frum wrote, “The trend these days seems toward a more casual attitude and easier access to those drugs. Among the things we should be discussing in the aftermath of this horror is the accumulating evidence of those drugs’ potential contribution to making some dangerous people even more dangerous than they might otherwise have been.”
Looking at the evidence, he noted that while the connection between marijuana and schizophrenia is controversial and complicated, the “raw association is strong” because of evidence showing that:
- Schizophrenics are twice as likely to smoke marijuana as non-schizophrenics.
- People who smoke marijuana are twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as those who do not smoke.
He quoted some of the experts as saying that the evidence does suggest a direct link between pot and mental illness.
One website featured the comment: “Everyone who promotes marijuana as a good thing has blood on their hands. Jared Loughner displays symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, which is a common health side effect of someone who abuses marijuana.”
Ironically, Arizona voters in November narrowly passed Proposition 203, making Arizona the 15th state to allow for the scam known as “medical marijuana.” This will have the effect of increasing distribution of the drug.
Remember that the Pentagon shooter from California was a “medical marijuana” patient but was obviously not helped by the drug being prescribed by a physician.
Governor Jan Brewer and her Democratic opponent in the November election, Terry Goddard, both opposed Proposition 203.
Mark A. de Bernardo wrote on The Daily Caller that funding for Proposition 203 “came largely from ubÃ«r-liberal billionaire George Soros and his pro-legalization pet organizations — long-time, broad-based marijuana legalization supporters.”
But he said that “medical marijuana” was a cover: “The real issue is not providing for terminally ill cancer patients, it is accommodating those who grow, sell, and use marijuana for ‘recreational’ purposes.”
One of those people was Arizona shooter Jared Loughner. The passage of Proposition 203 guarantees there will be more like him.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at email@example.com.