Cannabis Blamed for America’s Mass-Shooting Epidemic

Cannabis Blamed for America’s Mass-Shooting Epidemic
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Another week, another mass shooting to blame on cannabis. Six days after an 18-year-old who’d just bought two AR-15-style rifles on his birthday murdered 19 fourth graders and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, TX, Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked her roughly 2.2 million viewers whether the real problem wasn’t actually cannabis legalization. “Why aren’t people in general not talking more about the pot-psychosis violent-behavior connection?” asked Ingraham, who added that anyone advocating gun-control measures—such as the 90% of Americans who support universal background checks—as a rational response to Uvalde are “completely oblivious to what the legalization of marijuana has done and is doing to an entire generation of Americans with violent consequences.” At first blush, injecting cannabis into the conversation over mass shootings seemed like a fresh spin, another effort at misdirection to steer the conversation toward “hardening” schools, or arming teachers or vague jeremiads about “mental health”—anything but a discussion about the easy availability of weapons or that particular weapon, the AR-15-style rifle, the instrument of choice in a mass-shooting in Buffalo the week before that claimed another ten innocent lives. But, in fact, Ingraham lifted her screed nearly verbatim from the Substack account of disgraced COVID conspiracy theorist Alex Berenson, a former reporter at The New York Times turned novelist turned multi-purpose conservative contrarian. Berenson noticed a post-publication change to a Times item that initially reported an acquaintance’s claim that the Uvalde shooter was mad that his grandmother “didn’t let him smoke weed or do what he wanted.” That detail later disappeared from the story, which for Berenson was evidence of… well, not much, aside for more support for his pet theory. “Cannabis causes psychosis,” as he wrote. “Psychosis causes violence,” he added, including, an unmistakable syllogistic link, mass shootings. It’s a serious charge,…

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