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  1. ZenobiaSky
    NEW YORK (MainStreet) — One of the claims by those advocating marijuana legalization is that smoking grass does not lead to the violent behavior associated with drinking alcohol. They instead ascribe qualities to marijuana smoking of soothing the savage beast in humans.

    For example, the Marijuana Legalization Organization states on its website, "We currently spend billions of dollars every year to chase peaceful people who happen to like to get high."

    But a 2004 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, strongly contradicts this notion of a nonviolent world of marijuana smoking. The report studied marijuana use and delinquent behavior among youth. What the researchers determined was that frequency of marijuana use by youths is associated with delinquent behavior.

    The National Survey on Drug Use and Health surveyed youths ages 12 to 17 in 2002. It asked them about six delinquent behavioral activities:

    • engaged in serious fighting
    • engaged in group-against-group fighting
    • attacked someone with the intent to seriously hurt them during the past year
    • stole or tried to steal something worth more than $50
    • sold illegal drugs
    • carried a handgun during the past year

    What they learned was that "the percentages of youths engaging in delinquent behaviors in the past year rose with increasing frequency of marijuana use." Problem behavior of all sorts is correlated with smoking grass. For all of the delinquent behaviors reviewed the percentage of the youths engaging in this activity rose with the increase in marijuana usage.

    Specifically the report noted the following: "4 million youths (16% of those aged 12 to 17) used marijuana in the past year; approximately 21% of youths (5 million) engaged in serious fighting at school or work, almost 16% (4 million) took part in a group-against-group fight, and almost 8% (2 million) attacked someone with the intent to seriously hurt them during the past year. Nearly 5% of youths (1.2 million) stole or tried to steal something worth more than $50, more than 4% (1.1 million) sold illegal drugs, and more than 3% (800,000) carried a handgun during the past year."
    Some 16% of the youths surveyed, between 12 and 17 years of age, reported using marijuana in the prior year. The breakdown in frequency was:

    • 38% used marijuana on 1 to 11 days
    • 21% used on 12-49 days
    • 9% used on 50-99 days
    • 23% used on 100-299 days
    • 9% used marijuana 300 or more days

    SAMSHA is not alone in its findings. The British Journal of Psychiatry published a study in 2006 by some Dutch researchers, affiliated with the Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction) in Utrecht. This study concluded that "n a country with a liberal drug policy like The Netherlands, cannabis use is associated with aggression and delinquency, just as in other countries."

    The study was conducted as part of the World Health Organization cross-national study "Health Behaviour[sic] in School-Aged Children" that addressed "health behaviours [sic], health and its social context in children and adolescents in Europe and North America."

    Another study,this one in 2001, published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, was performed by researchers from the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment in Philadelphia. It reached similar conclusions. The study, titled "Violent Behavior as Related to Use of Marijuana and Other Drugs" by Alfred S. Friedman, Kimberly Glassman and Arlene Terras, found "greater frequency of use of marijuana was found unexpectedly to be associated with greater likelihood to commit weapons offenses."

    But marijuana advocates are not impressed. Morgan Fox, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, took issue with the studies claiming that they show a correlation but not causation.

    He also cited a study from addictive behaviors which states "[c]annabis reduces likelihood of violence during intoxication, but mounting evidence associates withdrawal with aggressivity."

    Regarding the British study Fox said, "This study shows correlation, not causation, and does not account for a large number of other factors which could influence aggressive behavior, such as poverty, ethnic and religious stratification, and political unrest."

    Fox took particular issue with the Belmont study.

    "A large number of arrestees probably had caffeine in their system... but correlation is not causation," he said. "There is no evidence that marijuana use contributes to violent or otherwise serious crimes. The fact that some people have marijuana in their systems at the time of arrest does not imply that marijuana was a causal factor. In fact, beyond the crime of possession, the vast majority of violent crime associated with marijuana are a direct result of prohibition forcing the market for this popular commodity to be controlled by criminals who do not have access to peaceful and legal means to resolve business conflicts."

    In response to the SAMHSA study, he was quick to repeat that correlation does not imply causation.

    "Given that marijuana is illegal and could itself be considered a delinquent behavior for teens, it seems much more likely that marijuana use associated with 'delinquents' is a symptom, not a cause," he said.
    While it is true that causation is not correlation, there is at least enough evidence that a possibility that marijuana could lead to violent behavior does exist. This is something that those who consider legalization or have alway voted in favor of legalization should know.

    By Michael P. Tremoglie
    Posted March 07, 2014

    The Newhawks Crew


  1. Xplicit
    If anyone does say such a thing then they are still living in the era of Reefer Madness, nothing but a bunch of fools who have nothing better to do then deceive people. Cannabis doesn't cause violence, not even a little bit and it relaxes you. I do know for a fact that PCP and Booze cause violence, trust me I know from experience.
  2. Holdemnutz
    I got a ride from a friend to a Pink Floyd concert back in the late 80's. He played minor league ball so never smoked. Well, I got some weed for myself and on the drive up, he decided he wanted some.

    I don't know what it was but he went half-nuts. He started driving like a maniac, weaving in and out of traffic and riding inches from people's bumpers. When we got closer to Tampa, it was bumper to bumper traffic. He couldn't sit still, the traffic would move up two feet and he would floor it and slam on the brakes, coming inches from crashing us. He did this maybe 10 times before we made our other buddy drive. This dude was totally sober, didn't even drink.

    This was the only person I ever came across that acted in this manner on weed. To this day, I don't know why he reacted to it the way he did.
  3. prescriptionperil
    My husband told me his ex wife's second husband was a MP during the Vietnam war. War is a situation n in which one is trained to kill, while being exposed to extreme risk and death. He found the guys using weed were not chronically engaged in fights, while liquor seemed a precursor to violence. In another group, young male situation, the RA at my son's dorm found the stoners would peacefully watch TV, while intoxicated young males were more prone to violence.

    God, Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch, an over the top Republican, thus consider the source. Theoretically, a teen prone towards schizophrenia could become delusional and violent. Considering most of those with mental illness do not have violent tendencies, I fell uncomfortable making that correlation.

    Regarding Fox news, they have a totally right wing agenda. This observation hasn't been splashed across the general media.

    This "news" does seem like resurrected Reefer Madness. I question the integrity of the source, Murdoch's Fox News.
    I suggest Googling "New study reveals alcohol, not drugs, major factor in one-punch assaults; au",
    for a March 11, 2014 article.
  5. bannana
    Well nobody can argue with that, the more serious potheads out there know that its all well and good until you run out.
  6. CannabisBenzoBuddie
    ^^^ This is true.. I get a little pissy pants when i run outta weed.. But i surely do not resort to violence when im dry... I just don't like being around anyone is all.. May snap and bite a little but nothing a crappy night sleep wont also do to me..

    Fox news needs to get high.. end of story :D
  7. Joe-(5-HTP)
    The reason people who are more likely to use marijuana might be more likely to be violent is because marijuana users are more likely to be violent law breaking anti-social people. It's nothing to do with Marijuana, it's to do with the demographic of people who use it. There will be a higher rate of drug use among violent criminals than among normal people, for obvious reasons. So it's ludicrous to suggest that marijuana is responsible for their violence.

    This is correlation not causation. Statistics 101.

    Boring and pathetic argument, NEXT!
  8. 5-HT2A
    I think it's probably true that young aspiring criminals would be more likely to use marijuana. But the fact that they do and also seem to be involved in more violence is most likely due to a greater than average tolerance for deviant behavior in general, not the pharmacological effects of the drug.

    I think the point about caffeine is great. Caffeine is most certainly the cause of some violence. I am much more easily angered after a few energy drinks and can see how some with less impulse control would be more likely to become violent. Yet this obvious potential problem escapes consideration in the minds of most people.

    I would also agree that marijuana withdrawal is likely to lower a person's anger threshold and increase the chances of violence.
  9. bannana
    Cant say I agree with this one, your generalizations are very out of touch.
    Statistics 101?? where?? I dont see them.
  10. Joe-(5-HTP)
    I mean it's basic statistics 101 to know the difference between correlation and causation.

    Two things may be correlated, yet not causally related. This article is suggesting causation when it has established nothing but correlation.

    What % of violent people use drugs?

    If it is higher than the % of people who are violent, then drug use is correlated with violence.

    But that does not suggest that drug use causes violence.

    If you took my post to be a blanket criticism of drug users, you mistook me. I'm in fact trying to defend pot legaisation against the claim that marijuana causes violence.

    What is the main cause of violence? Poverty. What is the main cause of a lot of drug use/addiction? Poverty. It is not an insult to drug users to say that they are more likely to be violent people, it is a recognition of their underprivileged status. But for lack of better opportunity, people become violent. Really we should be compassionate towards them, not just pretend they don't exist.

    And this has absolutely nothing to do with cannabis. Correlation, not causation. The cannabis doesn't make people more violent. At least, there's no evidence of it to be gained from the statistics quoted in the article.
  11. bannana
    Thanks for clearing that up joe. I understand what your saying now.
  12. ZenobiaSky
    I agree with Joe
    And the article even points this out several times when they say "This study shows correlation, not causation, and does not account for a large number of other factors which could influence aggressive behavior, such as poverty, ethnic and religious stratification, and political unrest." It again points out that "correlation does not imply causation" and "it is true that causation is not correlation"

    They do not take into account the other factors that may cause violence in teenage kids, including that some people are more prone to violence than others, (as it is with any behavioral or mental health issues) due to genetic and environmental factors, and that drug use can exacerbate this in those types of people.
  13. prescriptionperil
    Sheesh, you get a ticket for small quanities of cannabis, where I live. Then I'd read of a black man in I believe Mississipi, being imprisoned for 15 yrs for possession of 3 joints. The racist stop and frisk program implemented by the NYPD unfairly targets minorities, who are usually unarmed. In NYC you can possess marijuana, but it can't be displayed publically. Voila, the cop pulls it out of your pocket, it's visible, so an asine arrest is made, which hinders one's chance for employment or education. It breeds distrust for the police. I'm certain the perpetuation of poverty breeds criminality out of sheer desperation.

    A cop once told me he thought weed should be legal and alcohol illegal. I guess dealing with rowdy drunks colored his perception.

    This "fair and balanced" Fox news is alarmist, anti marijuana propaganda. As other's have stated,
    correlation doesn't equal causation.
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