Fearmongering about cannabis reached new levels on cable news this past week.
Last Tuesday, in a segment on “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News, political commentator Laura Ingraham blamed “pot psychosis” due to widespread legalization for the rise in mass shooting incidents. The Fox News pundit doubled down on her pot psychosis theory the very next evening.
While most people disagree whether gun violence is a gun control issue or a mental health issue—Ingraham blames pot instead.
Ingraham welcomed Russell Kamer, M.D., medical director of Partners in Safety, a drug testing organization, to question why people aren’t “talking more about the pot psychosis-violent behavior connection.” You can watch a clip of the entire segment here.
“What we find in studies [is that] it’s very clear that the use of the high potency marijuana is strongly associated with the development of psychosis,” Dr. Kamer said.
“My colleagues in Colorado,” Kamer continued, “are sounding the alarm because that was one of the first states to legalize. It’s practically a daily occurrence that kids come into the emergency rooms in florid, cannabis-induced psychosis.”
Ingraham dug deeper into her theory.
“This is something that the medical community is well aware of. Yet, you get the sense that the billions of dollars on the line are more important than our kids,” Ingraham said. “And what’s happening especially to young men in the United States, who are frequent users of this high-potency THC that’s now in marijuana products sold legally in dispensaries across the United States. I mean, this at the very least needs a serious national conversation.”
The Daily Beast reports that Ingraham claimed that it was initially reported that the 18-year-old shooter who killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Texas “was a user” but that The New York Times “mysteriously” removed that tidbit from their reporting.
“Reefer Madness” began trending on Twitter the very same night following the episode. “The 1930s called; they want their reefer madness propaganda back,” one person tweeted. “I didn’t think anyone would honestly circle around to that bulls**** ever again….” another person tweeted. “But it is funny to watch someone try.”
Ingraham’s angle is based on the idea that cannabis increases violent behavior.
But The New York Times reports that cannabis use has been demonstrated to make people less, not more, violent. Some of these ideas can be traced to a single source. Fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson ran a segment inspired by a New York Post op-ed that reported about an anti-pot lobby group’s list of mass shooters it claimed were avid cannabis consumers. But the claim about the connection to violence was dismissed by Politifact. Carlson frequently hosts known anti-pot author Alex Berenson to demystify the “dangers” of weed, as well as vaccines and other topics.
The gun-weed “connection” has been made before. Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two Columbine shooters, mentioned how when cops found a tiny bit of weed in the shooter’s brother’s room, it became a spectacle. Byron Klebold, who wasn’t involved in any shootings, just the brother of a shooter, was forced to undergo counseling for his weed “addiction.” Marilyn Manson and others were also frequently blamed for Columbine.
The very next night Ingraham returned to question whether weed is to blame for the “horrific carnage” playing out in schools and public spaces across America.
“Considering the horrific carnage here from other tragedies we already know about where high potency cannabis may have played a role, it’s important that Americans have more answers. We deserve to know the truth about this multi-billion-dollar and growing industry, how it’s affecting our young people, our working age population, and even our military readiness.”
Instead of watching highly biased shows on cable news, try reading peer-reviewed studies about the actual danger and non-danger of cannabis.