Tag Archives: Mental illness

Marijuana, Mental Illness and Murder

By Roger Morgan, Take Back America Campaign (www.tbac.us)

 Sachs’s Trial Involves Another Murderer Linked to Marijuana

Pro-pot people like to say “nobody dies of marijuana.”   They are referring to overdose, of course, but overdose isn’t the only cause of death, nor the only adverse outcome.  Credible scientific research has clearly shown that marijuana is a causal factor in schizophrenia and paranoia, which in many cases has lead to violent acts of murder.  The riveting case of Californian Ashton Sachs in the news this week is a terrifying example.

Sachs was 19 years old, living in a condo his parents bought in Seattle.  Originally he attended college there, but dropped out of school in favor of smoking pot and playing video games. Then one day in February 2014 he drove 18 hours to San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and murdered his parents.  He also shot his younger brother in the head, and tried to kill his 17-year-old sister.  The brother is now paralyzed, and he happened to miss his sister because she hid under the sheets.

Then he flew back to Seattle, and arranged for his car to be shipped. He expressed awe and sorrow when being told about the death of his family members.  He even gave a heart-wrenching speech at the funeral.  Ultimately, he confessed and was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole.   He had a wide smile on his face in court, a symbol of his deranged, sociopathic mind.

How Marijuana Played a Role

Fortunately, not everyone who consumes cannabis goes crazy.  According to Dr. Christine Miller, a neuroscientist formerly with John Hopkins University, somewhere between 12 and 15% of users  will develop psychotic symptoms. (This statistic is for low-strength marijuana, while much marijuana today over 15% THC.)   Of those, about 35% develop full psychosis, of whom half become chronically mentally ill. The life-altering circumstances lead to homelessness, crime, public health expense and incredible pain and suffering for entire families. Too often it leads to suicide as well.

Those who use marijuana during adolescence are 7 times more likely to commit suicide.  (Ashton Sachs had already tried to take his own life twice) Heavy users of high-strength marijuana are 5 times more likely to develop schizophrenia at some point in their lives, often earlier rather than later.

In most cases of mass murders in recent history (Cascade Mall shooter, Tucson, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Boston Bombers, Orlando, etc), the murderer was a heavy pot user.  While correlation doesn’t equal causation, there are too many cases involving marijuana to deny marijuana’s impact on the brain as a factor.   It is not like these people were known for their heavy indulgence in sugar, milk or chocolate.

Read a previous article on the subject.

Schizophrenia, Psychosis are Marijuana Side Effects

schizophrenia-psychosis
Mind-altering drugs can affect the brain permanently, causing mental illness. Scientists have proven that marijuana can trigger schizophrenia,  psychosis.

Canadian Mental Illness Experts Warn of Cannabis-Psychosis Link

The worst of the mental issues that can result from pot use are schizophrenia, psychosis. Scientists and addiction specialists are aware of marijuana as a trigger for mood disorders. The general public is by and large ignorant on this subject.

People experiencing psychosis can have breaks with reality. The can experience hallucinations. They can even become violent. Read a definition of psychosis on the Healthline website. Schizophrenia symptoms seem to be similar according to Healthline. Yet, it seems that it is a chronic condition rather than temporary.

The Schizophrenia Society of Canada has on online campaign to educate the public about the connection between marijuana use and psychosis called Cannabis and Psychosis.

See the Schizophrenia, Psychosis Video

Schizophrenia Society of Canada // Cannabis & Psychosis from Giant Ant on Vimeo.

While the Pot Lobby wants the public to consider marijuana a safer alternative to other addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol, the medical experts warn otherwise. See this excellent article, The Cannabis-Psychosis Link: Mind your Mind.

For more scientific and anecdotal evidence, we highly recommend the website MomsStrong.org. This website was launched by a California mom who lost her son to cannabis withdrawal suicide and a mom in Arizona whose son committed suicide as a result of his losing battle with marijuana addiction.

Parents, educate yourself and warn the young people around you. Marijuana is not a toy, it can destroy. See more StopPot 2016 articles related to marijuana and mental health.