"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Hash makes people kill (other people)

in response to:

December 09, 2003
Marijuana madness
Yet more evidence that cannabis -- far from being the soft, relatively harmless drug we are constantly told it is -- can be a killer. That is to say, it can make users kill other people. A teenager, Jamie Lee Osbourne, stabbed a milkman to death using a 12-inch blade after having 'delusional fantasies' as a heavy smoker of cannabis. His barrister told the court that Osbourne's personality changed as he took cannabis and turned to alcohol. 'Cannabis is a great disinhibitor. He began to have less inhibitions and almost delusional fantasies about getting money'.

Indeed. There is ample evidence about the link between cannabis and psychosis, and more and more evidence that cannabis is implicated in violent death. It is not so much that users turn to crime to feed their habit; it is more that the drug 'disinhibits' them by destroying those parts of the brain that deal in cognition and produce any kind of moral sense. All this is quite clear from the research evidence. Yet the government has reclassified cannabis to be on a par with slimming pills, and has all but decriminalised it. That's surely another kind of madness.

Posted by melanie at December 9, 2003 04:55 PM


Having just read your latest post, I was surprised to read you linking a seriously violent crime with the use of cannabis. Have you any factual evidence concerning violent behaviour and cannabis use/miss-use. Would it not have been more responsible to reason that the violence may have been aggravated by the consumption of alcohol, which it is widely known and scientifically proven to cause increased levels of aggression.
Alcohol may encourage aggression or violence by disrupting normal brain function. According to the disinhibition hypothesis, for example, alcohol weakens brain mechanisms that normally restrain impulsive behaviors, including inappropriate aggression (1. By impairing information processing, alcohol can also lead a person to misjudge social cues, thereby overreacting to a perceived threat (2). Simultaneously, a narrowing of attention may lead to an inaccurate assessment of the future risks of acting on an immediate violent impulse (3).
Alcohol is the main cause of violent acts commited in England.
"During the 1997 General Election Mr Jack Straw, now Home Secretary, pointed out that "every year, there are almost 1.5 million victims of violent attacks committed by people under the influence of drink. Every weekend, people avoid their home and city centres for fear that they will be attacked or intimidated by drunken youths. This cannot continue."
If you personally believe cannabis to be the offender in this incident a balanced perspective would allow the reader to make up their own mind.
Thank you for your time.