An eye-opening report from an award-winning author and former New York Times reporter reveals the link between teenage marijuana use and mental illness, and a hidden epidemic of violence caused by the drug—facts the media have ignored as the United States rushes to legalize cannabis.
Recreational marijuana is now legal in nine states. Almost all Americans believe the drug should be legal for medical use. Advocates argue cannabis can help everyone from veterans to cancer sufferers. But legalization has been built on myths– that marijuana arrests fill prisons; that most doctors want to use cannabis as medicine; that it can somehow stem the opiate epidemic; that it is not just harmless but beneficial for mental health. In this meticulously reported book, Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, explodes those myths:
• Almost no one is in prison for marijuana;
• A tiny fraction of doctors write most authorizations for medical marijuana, mostly for people who have already used;
• Marijuana use is linked to opiate and cocaine use. Since 2008, the US and Canada have seen soaring marijuana use and an opiate epidemic. Britain has falling marijuana use and no epidemic;
• Most of all, THC—the chemical in marijuana responsible for the drug’s high—can cause psychotic episodes. After decades of studies, scientists no longer seriously debate if marijuana causes psychosis.
Psychosis brings violence, and cannabis-linked violence is spreading. In the four states that first legalized, murders have risen 25 percent since legalization, even more than the recent national increase. In Uruguay, which allowed retail sales in July 2017, murders have soared this year.
Berenson’s reporting ranges from the London institute that is home to the scientists who helped prove the cannabis-psychosis link to the Colorado prison where a man now serves a thirty-year sentence after eating a THC-laced candy bar and killing his wife. He sticks to the facts, and they are devastating.
With the US already gripped by one drug epidemic, this book will make readers reconsider if marijuana use is worth the risk.
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About the Author
Alex Berenson is a former New York Times reporter and award-winning novelist. He attended Yale University and joined the Times in 1999, where he covered everything from the drug industry to Hurricane Katerina and served as a correspondent in Iraq. In 2006, The Faithful Spy, his debut novel, won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel. He has since written eleven more novels. Currently, he lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and children. Tell Your Children is his second nonfiction book.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Everything You're About to Read Is True xi
Part 1 Then And Now
1 Madness on Two Continents 3
2 Schizophrenia, (Mis)Understood 17
3 Getting High in the 1970s 33
4 The First Real Proof 47
5 Medical Marijuana Wins 57
Part 2 Proof
6 A Round-the-World Search for Evidence 81
7 An Unlikely Theory Gains Traction 101
8 Study After Study After Study 120
9 Stories from the Front Lines 128
10 An Epidemic Arrives 140
Part 3 The Red Tide
11 Laboratory Studies, Real-World Facts 165
12 Axes and Knives 179
13 One Bad Trip 192
14 Myths, Spreading 209
Epilogue: What Now? 219
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A well-researched book which is brave enough to tell the truth about what today's marijuana is doing to our society. I am a Colorado mom with two kids who have been deeply affected by legalization of weed. Both my kids were honor students, top athletes, musicians at their Douglas County high school. The high-THC legal and "medical" marijuana which has permeated Colorado derailed both of them. They got into legal trouble, their mental health suffered terribly, they were suicidal, our family went through hell. We tried counseling, psychiatrists, rehabs, had my son kidnapped and sent to wilderness therapy, spent thousands and thousands of dollars. We finally found a wonderful out-patient 'Enthusiastic sobriety' drug rehab for teens and young adults (The Cornerstone Program) and thankfully both my son and daughter are both doing well now. I have been involved with the Cornerstone parent support program for almost 6 years now and have seen hundreds and hundreds of Colorado kids come into rehab deeply affected by weed and then other drugs. Every single one of them will tell you they started with weed. Alcohol, pills, cocaine were often added in, many of them went on to heroin, meth. Most of them still have symptoms of paranoia and mental illness from weed. I have been to 4 funerals for these kids, from mental illness, suicide, drug overdoses. Legalizing marijuana has caused drug use, especially among teens and young adults, to become “normalized”. It’s become “normal” in Colorado for young adults to get high, and this so often leads to normalization of other drug use. What makes weed especially dangerous is that today’s marijuana, and especially that sold in Colorado, is at least 25 times stronger than that of the 60's and 70's. The THC level in Colorado’s weed qualifies it as a class one dangerous drug in every country outside the US. Once someone crosses this first line into drug use by using weed, it becomes much easier to cross the next line, and the next. The opioid crisis is not unrelated to marijuana legalization. If doubters believe weed is harmless and non-addictive, why are there so many active Marijuana Anonymous groups? This book starts to tell the much-needed truth about how dangerous today's marijuana is for our society as a whole, and especially for young people. Speaking from personal experience, I want to say thank you Alex Berenson, for speaking the truth.
I checked a selection his quoted studies online, and Berenson's information appears to be accurate. While I have not seen the violence first-hand, I have seen the marijuana- induced psychosis. This book is a warning every parent needs to read.... and every young adult. Psychosis is a form of self-mutilation. Once broken the mind is never unbroken again.
An outstanding, detailed, easy to read expose of how our nation is making a horrible mistake in allowing the legalization of marijuana. Do yourself, your friends, your children and grandchildren a great favor and read this book yourself. Allow yourself to intelligently decide what the truth is and what you should be saying on this very important topic.
Well written and well-documented. This is an earth-shaking book that should be read by everyone. This will be a best-seller-and for good reason.
What a piece of sensationalist garbage. Based on no facts. Very sad to see major publishers and book stores promoting these lies. It's "Reefer Madness" 2019.