Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence | Alex Berenson

Alex Berenson is a graduate of Yale University with degrees in history and economics. He began his career in journalism in 1994 as a business reporter for the …


  1. I have closely observed students and youth at the elementary, middle school, and secondary (high) school levels, in addition to College/University cohorts turn from Alcoholic syndrome to Marijuana syndrome problems over the myriad years working out with several communities in Europe, North America and the Caribbean.
    As a teenager, I had researched the prolific use of Hashish by the ancients with their parasitic warfare (including Alexander the Great's troops in central Asia), and later the British use of India's opium to unfairly impact the Chinese. So, I was not surprised by the contemporary fetish for marijuana or its near relatives. Indeed, one Government Public Works driver had attempted to entice me, quite early in my pedagogic avocation, to go into lucrative "business" with him – – – in order to more 'profitably' use my alleged talents. Again, others had brought seeds to me, which they had allegedly procured through the mail, and asserted that these were marijuana seeds – – – and that I ought to plant such in my family's plots of of agricultural land.
    My experience, close and extensive experiential observation, informs me that the frenzied race by the politicians to legalise (misunderstood and misrepresented) 'medical' marijuana and/or (fully intentional) 'recreational' marijuana is 'wutliss', corrupt, and decidedly degenerate.
    Oh, for the abysmal lack of Statesmen and genuine Statesmanship.
    Our generation is hurriedly and heedlessly GOING TO "POT".
    Our "future" is suppressed by widespread 'official' medication and over-the-counter drugs and illicit, addictive, narcotic drugs {be they MARIJUANA, Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, the whole "Opiod" pepperpot – – – and a whole host of other poisons we apathetically, FOOLISHLY gullible and naive.
    A generation of pot-heads equate an EVIL and TERMINAL generation.
    …. And, to think that we had rejected the HIPPIES OF YESTERYEAR.
    IF there is no "heaven" [as in 'Heaven help us!'] – – – then WOE Betide our 21st Century critically degenerate 'Civilization;.

  2. This is huge FUD. If you smoke strains High in THC and ABUSE THEM then yes, you can expect a bad time, same as alcohol (which is legal by the way). Regulation is the best thing, as now many states of America provide access to strains with a sensible amount of THC to CBD ratio. In summary, start off with small doses, and stay away from strains high in THC and low in CBD. It will REDUCE anxiety, not create it. As for violence, I agree with the comment below, I have NEVER known anyone to become violent after consuming weed, and I have been in a weed community for over 20 years. It is utter nonsense. FUD at its best.

  3. Alex, I cannot express enough gratitude for your new book. It's so sad there is so much pushback on the truth! You are helping hundreds of thousands of young teenagers, young adults and the families and loved ones. Thank you!

  4. I agree with this guy. I don't have sympathy for the pro pot people. Remind me of children who want their toys. Grow up and face reality. I am not a fan of alcohol or any other mind altering substance. I need all the brain cells I have left. When will we ever learn.

  5. I have smoked marijuana myself when I was younger and I know many, many, many regular pot smokers. For one, marijuana is NOT addictive. Two marijuana does NOT cause mental disorders. And smoking it does NOT lead to use of other drugs (other than when it's illegal the person selling it also sells other drugs) I have done 40 years worth of "research" on it myself….. And those are the FACTS!!! I do not encourage it's use, but it is harmless and non-addictive. When crazy people smoke marijuana it does not mean the marijuana made them crazy!!! They all eat too….. But we aren't saying food made them crazy!!! I know this….. As an illegal drug I could get marijuana ANYWHERE when I was 12 or 13, because it was not controlled. I could NOT get alcohol because it was legal and controlled. That's just a fact. To lock Americans in prison for smoking a harmless plant is INSANE no matter your position or opinion on smoking pot. I personally know hundreds of pot smokers, none of which are mental cases (any more than anyone else) and none are violent etc etc…. They may get the munchies, and at the very worst may be forgetful. Marijuana is FAR SAFER than alcohol!!! That I'm 110% sure of. I do not promote it's use, I believe that as with ANY drug, educating children about it will do more than anything else. If we took the BILLIONS of dollars we WASTE on drug enforcement that clearly does not work and put that money into education we might be doing something. But ruining young people's lives by locking them up over grass is a travesty. PERIOD

  6. Pot smoking brother in law gets diagnosed with schizophrenia- burns my parents house down while high. Sister's girlfriend can't go Without pot for years, is diagnosed with several mental illnesses but also get arrested for assaulting a police officer and is notorious for getting into fist fights. Seems a lot like my own personal bias talking, but my reality is that this corellation is correct. It doesn't make sense- pot is supposed to be a "depressant". But facts are facts.

    However, his speech was not well delivered or convincing.

  7. I think there is truth in his story, but he is missing a crucial point that might explain the trouble with Marijuana. It isn't a bad idea to compare Marijuana, (used for self medication), with other psychoactive drugs. Chemically the drug does similar things to your brain.
    The big difference is how it is being taken. Medicine are usually taken in a controlled way in order to get a certain constant level of the drug in your blood. The doctor tells you how to take it. On the other hand, Marijuana is often taken recreational, which usually means irregularly. In that case the body is not able to adapt to the level of drugs. This is a problem. Further more, financial dips or switching of drugs can cause even more chemical instability, and this is precisely what is so dangerous with respect to psychosis. Is is well known that psychoactive drugs need to be tapered down slowly and carefully. You can't just mess around with it. But recreational users are doing these things all the time.
    Then there is the issue with multiple chemicals. Usually you doctor does not know, or takes no responsibility for recreational Marijuana use, often leading to unintentional polyfarmica, which has it's own problems.

  8. Good presentation! Weed is not a harmless drug, people are addicted to it just like alcohol, opioids. People who smoke regular and early impair the development of their brain. It impairs decisions making. Weed is not a harmless drug. I have family members who have been addicted for years. Tell the truth.

  9. Legalization of marijuana has absolutely nothing to do with side affects or outcomes. It's all about constitutionally, the 10th ammendment limits the federal governments scope. It took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, what makes anyone think banning marijuana would require any less.

  10. This guy must work for pharmaceutical companies. He wants to compare a plant from nature to man made neuro-toxins known as psychiatric drugs made in a lab that cause the exact same thing they're supposed to treat.

  11. Mexico is famous for being marijuana using culture for a long time. Look at the violence in that country. Look at the cultures of other long term pot using nations in the world. Is that what we aspire to be? Whatever you want to say about alcohol, it didn't get in the way of capitalism or the development of science, technology, or even democracy.

  12. I find it a little humorous that this presenter and a few of the people in attendance here are sporting hair and facial hair styles (black lady notwithstanding) that arose from the drug culture; messed hair, scraggly beard, unkempt look in general. What is considered hip style-wise comes from that culture.

  13. When I try to talk to users about the dangers of marijuana, they often grow rude and intolerant. Similarly, when I try to talk to people about the addiction to religion, they often grow rude and intolerant. Notice any other relationship? I do; they are different ways of avoiding reality.

  14. Mary Morons … why do you think that you think pot is OKAY? You live in a world where everything good is evil and everything foul and evil is good. Have you no brains? Oh, wait that's why they call it dope.

  15. Pot is the recreational drug plank of the Leftists. Nothing you say about it – nor the litany of violence and damage that ensues from its use – will persuade them to withdraw their defense of it. …PS seen a lot of bullshit on the comment thread. Apparently you have never seen any drug use.

  16. Why do a reputable college like Hillsdale invite this charlatan?

    Even without any domain specific knowledge you should be able to recognize intellectually dishonest arguments.

    By their fruits you will know them.

    I'm not a Marijuana user or advocate for Marijuana, in fact I'm strong opponent of talking about this issue because it's boring and there are much more important issues at hand.

    But for the love of Mike, if you allow bipartisanship to take over and you start rooting for your team instead of the truth, you have lost your way, please don't do that, respect the logos.

    Final stop on that road is a job as an assistant professor in some grievance studies department where you will live out the remainder of your life reading postmodernistic articles.

  17. I've been an emergency medicine physician for 39 years – 99% of the violence associated with substance use I've seen is from alcohol. I have NEVER seen a violent marijuana user. This speech is just ridiculous.

  18. Umm….uhhh….dumb!!!

    I don't smoke weed and have no desire to. And I have tried it. I did not like it.

    But it is everyone's right to if they do like it. Your war on drugs is a money scheme that the Government created to allow them to steal Law abiding Citizen's God given rights and money.

    You are pandering to the money hungry politicians. Shame on you, ass kisser.

  19. Fyi, I'm not an advocate for marijuana. But one point he makes is quite problematics. The correlation between marijuana use and opioid use ignores the "individual" even as he says taht's what matters. What's clear about heavy marijuana users and heroin addicts is that about 80% have mental health issues, often from childhood trauma.

    It's also true that only about 15% of people who ever use heroin become addicted. Hmmm – so it seems that even heroin use doesn't lead to heroin addiction for the large majority of users. The absence of these facts makes me a a bit suspicious of his agenda.

  20. ANY ADDICTION IS A DRUG!!!, Marijuana!!, coffee ("CAFFEINE"), beer (Alcohol), Tea ("CAFFEINE") and soft drinks (with caffeine in it)!! Over-the-counter medicines as in cough syrup, Tylenol, painkillers etc.!!! Do yourself a favor and STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS!!!!!!

  21. This guy is blaming weed for violence? From alcohol to pharmaceuticals inhibition to uptake inhibitors, weed is the least of the issue.

    I've used calming strains of cannabis to help long standing deep rooted issues that would have been far worse had I treated them with toxic pharmacology.

    These issues are social and growing exponentially because the root is never addressed.

    This idiot is a paid actor with no integrity arguing like a lawyer for a paycheck from big pharma.

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