By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The major media do not want to cover the issue of marijuana causing mental illness. But because a prominent Democrat, Patrick Kennedy, has raised it, the media have nowhere left to hide. The news that he says marijuana “Destroys the brain and expedites psychosis” was big news and a big headline in The Washington Post.
Kennedy fought alcoholism and an addiction to prescription drugs and is now taking on the marijuana lobby, while getting verbal abuse from the potheads in return. The Marijuana Policy Project calls his new group, SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), the “new threat” and “a dangerous, new national anti-marijuana organization.”
The group’s website features such stories as:
- Marijuana use linked with significant IQ loss
- Medical marijuana laws hurt kids, doctor says
- Legalize pot? No, reform laws
Kennedy, the younger son of Edward M. Kennedy and a former member of Congress from Rhode Island, was strong and direct, telling the Post, “Marijuana destroys the brain and expedites psychosis. It’s just overall a very dangerous drug.”
The paper said Kennedy wants “to shift the debate from legalization to prevention and treatment—despite what appears to be a growing social acceptance of the drug.”
That “growing social acceptance” is being driven by the drug-friendly media, the pro-drug entertainment industry, and a dope lobby led by the Drug Policy Alliance that is mostly funded by billionaires such as George Soros.
Kennedy’s involvement follows other experts who have been discussing marijuana’s threat. Mental health expert Clayton Cramer tells Accuracy in Media, “The studies that have been done on the subject clearly demonstrate not just a correlation between mental illness and marijuana use, but a causal connection.”
However, the pro-marijuana movement is on the move, with the state of Oregon sinking so low as to authorize the use of “medical marijuana” for a 7-year-old child with leukemia. The child’s father, who is divorced from the girl’s mother, reported the marijuana use to child welfare officials and said that he found the little girl “stoned out of her mind.”
The prospect of Patrick Kennedy’s involvement gives hope to those who believe the U.S. has been surrendering the war on drugs.
Reuters broke the story, “Patrick Kennedy On Marijuana: Former Rep. Leads Campaign Against Legal Pot,” which was picked up by the Huffington Post and other liberal outlets. Kennedy “is taking aim at what he sees as knee-jerk support for marijuana legalization among his fellow liberals,” it said.
The dope lobby never expected a certified liberal—and the son of a liberal icon—to lead a new charge against them.
SAM is a bipartisan group, chaired by Kennedy, which includes George W. Bush’s former speechwriter and Daily Beast columnist David Frum, Harvard Professor Sharon Levy, Kevin Sabet, and other public health professionals and lawmakers.
Levy authored a resolution for the American Academy of Pediatrics opposing the use of “medical marijuana” in children, while Sabet served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Sabet has debated Ethan Nadelmann of the Soros-funded Drug Policy Alliance.
On its website, Frum argues against marijuana legalization. Equally significant, SAM talks about where marijuana legalization is heading—a takeover by the tobacco industry, which has openly speculated about marijuana becoming an “alternative product line.”
SAM declares, “We know if it’s legalized, marijuana will be commercialized, too. A commercial marijuana industry will act just as the tobacco industry acts. Big Tobacco may even take over a marijuana industry once it’s up and running.”
Since tobacco companies lied to America for more than a century about the dangers of smoking, SAM suggests the truth about marijuana will also be concealed by the commercial and other special interests eager to make money from the product.
In fact, left-wing British journalist Patrick Cockburn has already written about a “tobacco moment” for marijuana consisting of the connection between marijuana use and psychotic episodes that is comparable to the scientific recognition that tobacco smoking causes lung cancer and other illnesses. Cockburn wrote a series of blockbuster articles in the British media on how his own son went insane smoking marijuana.
Clayton Cramer, author of My Brother Ron: A Personal and Social History of the Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill, says that the damage is being done through “the active promotion of marijuana use, especially among young people, who are the greatest risk of marijuana inducing schizophrenia.”
In addition to mental illness, a recent international study found a link between “persistent cannabis use and neuropsychological decline.” In other words, marijuana causes damage to intelligence, memory and attention.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]m.org.