Tag Archives: Eddie Routh

Two Most Recent Incidences of Religious Violence

The Common Web in Ideological Killings

Two cases of religious violence are dominating the news, and marijuana allegedly played a strong role in the lives of both attackers.  Jeremy Christian’s rants on Muslim women in Portland, Oregon resulted in the stabbing death of two men who defended the women. The Daily Mail reports about Jeremy Joseph Christian:

“Christian’s Facebook site paints disturbing a picture of the suspect, and he describes himself by saying: ‘I’m an Ex-Con. I Like Comix, Cannabis and Metal-In Any Combination. If you are an Employer, F*** Off.’ ”  The suspect has been in jail previously for a string of charges including robbery, kidnapping and unlawful use of a weapon, and he brags about being an ex-con on his Facebook page.  Whenever there are erratic rants with psychotic overtones, we should suspect marijuana use.

Salman Abedi, Manchester terrorist

Salman Abedi, the perpetrator of the Manchester bombing last week was also an early marijuana smoker and drinker.  Friends remember him as a good footballer, a keen supporter of Manchester United and a user of cannabis.  An article The Independent, questions how he turned from a cannabis-smoking dropout to a Isis bomber.   The paper concludes that his path to radicalization echoes those of Islamist terrorists throughout Europe.  However, his victims were disproportionately young, and overwhelmingly female–another fact that can’t be ignored.

British journalists have been publishing a good deal about the connection between heavy pot use and jihadist terrorism.  It seems  cannabis obsession turns up frequently with ideological or religious violence when the killers have no relationship with their victims.

Rising Pot Use, Rising Violence

Scholars from Michigan recently published a summary of incidences of the past few years linking violence and aggression with marijuana use. They reveal little-known facts, including information about how marijuana affected Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Osama bin Laden.

As pot use rises, we can expect a corresponding increase in violence.   (In Chicago, known for a high murder rate,  58% of violent criminals tested + for recent marijuana use.  Humboldt County, marijuana capital of California, has higher rates for suicide and homicide than most counties in the state. )

Frequent pot use eventually causes major brain changes that affect a chunk of marijuana users.  (Studies show that even a small amount of pot use changes the brain.)  Critical parts of the brain that influence emotion, happiness, empathy and conscience are involved, even if not entirely understood.  Pot users are vulnerable to paranoia, unusual or rigid thought patterns, anxiety and/or depression.

Dylann Roof killed 9 African-American at a church in SC. His parents sought outside help to stop his marijuana use when he was 14.

When continued marijuana leads to ideological or religious violence, the usual pattern is that heavy marijuana comes first, the ideology follows and drug use continues.  Dylann Roof killed 9 African-American at a church in South Carolina.  Recent documents revealed that his parents struggled to get him to stop using marijuana at age 14.   Other ideological killers and pot users included Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear, Eric Rudolph, an abortion clinic bomber, and Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber.

Is Marijuana Always a Factor?

It  also is not necessary to blame marijuana for each and every person who becomes radicalized and fanatic.  Orlando shooter Omar Mateen carried danger and rage that dated back years and would appear to be far more complex.  In 3rd grade, instead of singing a school song “mariposa, mariposa,” he sang “marijuana, marijuana.”

It’s  possible the radicalization of the San Bernardino terrorists, Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook,  did not involve marijuana use.  Other drugs were found in their home, benzodiazapines and amphetamines, according to British journalist Peter Hitchens.  However, Enrique Marquez, Syed Farook’s friend who bought the guns, posted on Facebook, November 5, 2015:  ‘No one really knows me. I lead multiple lives and I’m wondering when its all going to collapse on M[e].’  He referred to being ‘Involved in terrorist plots, drugs, antisocial behavior, marriage, might go to prison for fraud etc.

Two of the most successful young shooters,  Adam Lanza and Seung-Hui Cho, Virginia Tech shooter, appear to have not used pot.  For the most part, Lanza’s mother rejected psychiatric pills as a solution to his problems.  Cho was prescribed Prozac, but there’s no evidence he used it.  Neither Lanza nor Cho were ideological killers.
Radicalization comes easier to a brain that has been primed by marijuana or other drugs.  It’s not just for religious violence, but all kinds of ideological killers.  Mind control from  political groups comes more easily to the drugged brain.  Marijuana lobbying groups use terms like “Marijuana Majority,”  “inevitable,” “racism,” expecting people to be good sheep who follow.

Robert Dear, shooter at Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.  A heavy marijuana user, he moved to Colorado for the pot.

We Can’t Ignore Correlation

Cutting out all marijuana use would not eliminate all murder and mass violence by any means.   However, as a society, we cannot ignore when these correlations occur:

  1. a shooter’s psychosis and or mental illness is triggered by marijuana use – (James Holmes, Jared Loughner, Eddie Routh and possibly Robert Dear are clear examples)
  2.  marijuana use numbs feelings so that shooters feel no empathy  (Robert Durst, Dylann Roof)  As marijuana manipulates the brain, it appears aid in the formation of psychopathology.
  3. Victims of PTSD turn to marijuana and it turns deadly for them and others.  Cascade Mall shooter Arcan Cetin was an early marijuana user who suffered from PTSD.  He killed five people at a Macy’s in Washington.  Stephen Bourgoin who recently killed five teens in a wrong way crash also suffered from PTSD.  If we offered better ways to identify and treat early PTSD, we’d have a less violent society.

A chorus of marijuana activists will say: “Correlation doesn’t equal causation.”  That’s what their leaders say, too.  For further study, please read Part 2, as well as these studies:

Miller, Norman S Miller and Thersilla Oberbarnscheidt.  Marijuana Violence and Law. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, January 17,  2017

Fazel S, Långström N, Hjern A, Grann M, Lichtenstein P. Schizophrenia, substance abuse, and violent crime. JAMA. 2009 May 20;301(19):2016-23.

Harris AW, Large MM, Redoblado-Hodge A, Nielssen O, Anderson J, Brennan J. Clinical and cognitive associations with aggression in the first episode of psychosis. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2010 Jan;44(1):85-93..……

House of Representatives Passes Marijuana for Veterans Amendment

Allowing Veterans Marijuana for PTSD Ignores all Science

An amendment which will require Veterans’ Administration psychiatrists to allow medical marijuana for veterans with PTSD passed the House of Representatives on May 19.  If this law had been in place on February 2, 2013, when Eddie Routh killed Chad Littlefield and Chris Kyle, their families could have sued the VA.

The defendant in the “American Sniper” murder trial, Eddie Routh, was found guilty of murder even though he plead not guilty by reason of insanity.  Prosecutors argued his deadly behavior was brought on not by schizophrenia, but weed. They called it “marijuana psychosis.”   He was a veteran, but certainly not the first veteran to go into a raging psychosis after using marijuana.  One of Parents Opposed to Pot’s followers begged us for help to save her son.

Congress is choosing to act against the scientific literature, most recently the study from Yale which covered more than 2,000 veterans between 1992 and 2011.  For the veterans who used marijuana, there was a worsening of PTSD symptoms and increased violence.    Congress is following a course that risks making people who are already fragile more depressed and anxious, and possibly violent.

Other Marijuana – Related Lawsuits

Lawsuits involving medical and recreational marijuana are mounting.  The family of Kristine Kirk, who was shot by her husband during his cannabis-induced psychosis, are filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the three Kirk children.  A recreational marijuana manufacturer and store that sold a weed-laced candy to Richard Kirk are named in the suit.  Kirk is awaiting trial on charges he shot his wife to death after consuming the treat. The lawsuit, according to the Denver Post, claims the manufacturer and store failed to properly warn Kirk of the candy’s potency and possible side effects, including hallucinations and psychotic episodes.

The family of Kate Steinle, killed by Francesco Sanchez, whom San Francisco refused to prosecute for his marijuana crimes, is now suing the city of San Francisco.   Sanchez, under the influence of marijuana, was delusional and terrified because he thought he saw a sea lion.  (Some people see this as an immigration issue, but Parents Opposed to Pot notices that if he served time for his marijuana crimes, he would not have been on the street.)

A 16-year-old Seattle boy jumped six floors to his death after the first time he tried marijuana on December 5, 2015.    Although the marijuana was purchased legally, Hamza Warsame was not a legal consumer.  After extensive investigation, his death was determined to be an accident caused by his reaction to marijuana.

Coverup of the Marijuana -Psychosis Risk

First the American Press and now Congress is ignoring the scientific literature that shows marijuana is related to psychosis and violence.

Information on the marijuana and psychosis risk was presented at the National Press Office more than 11 years ago.   A video meant to be a Public Service Announcement for parents and their children was ignored by the American Press.    The media coverup has continued.

Lives could have been saved, and so many cases of mental illness and psychotic breakdowns and crimes could have been prevented – if the American Press had decided to report to the public.    In fact the scientific evidence on each of the following is voluminous: marijuana & psychosis, marijuana & violence and marijuana & psychiatric disorders.

Get Real — Marijuana Use Fuels Crime and Domestic Violence

A man who brutally chased a woman with fire tongs and broke her jaw in Prescott, AZ, was a medical marijuana cardholder.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that marijuana legalization will increase domestic violence and violence against women and children.  We have written on this subject previously.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  While we acknowledge the problem, let’s also acknowledge that  substance abuse is connected to nearly all domestic violence.*  Heavy marijuana users were the perpetrators in three domestic violence stories in the news over the past two weeks.

Near Portland, Oregon, a mother shot her 17-year-old son on Sept. 24.  Diane Davidoff’s paranoia and other mental illness, certainly made worse by frequent marijuana usage, probably led to the killing of her son.  She worried that others were out to get her. Continue reading

The Weed-Altered Brains of Pretty Little Killers: Conclusion

As parents, we’re trying to distinguish between normal teenage behaviors and warning signs of real danger. As a society, we are trying to figure out the triggers for abhorrent behaviors in order to prevent tragedies such as Skylar Neese’s murder.

A family friend of Rachel Shoaf, who had known her since she was an infant, was shocked that the teen with ‘potential, morals’ turned into a murderer.  Marijuana is the single influence that — if taken out of the picture — could have prevented this tragedy. Continue reading