DARKER SIDE OF CANNABIS

January 16, 2020 at 4:45 am

As the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in New York grows, so do the concerns over the drug’s effect on teens. Journalist and author, Alex Berenson examines “The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence.”

Aired on January 15, 2020. 

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>> A NUMBER OF STATES AND THE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAVE
LEGALIZED RECREATIONAL
MARIJUANA.
OTHER STATES INCLUDING NEW YORK
AND NEW JERSEY ARE ON THE VERGE
OF DOING THE SAME.
AND SOME OF OUR MOST PROMINENT
LAWMAKERS IN THEIR WAY, FEDERAL
LEGALIZATION WILL VERY SOON
FOLLOW.
SOME OF THE REASONS FOR THIS
PUSH TOWARD LEGALIZATION ARE
WELL KNOWN.
FAR FROM BEING HARMFUL TO OUR
HEALTH, MARIJUANA HAS PROVEN TO
BE IMMEDIATELY BENEFICIAL.
LEGALIZATION LEADS TO THE
REDUCTION OF THE VIOLENCE THAT
ACCOMPANIES THE CRIMINAL BE
MARIJUANA INDUSTRY.
THE ENFORCEMENT OF MARIJUANA
LAWS HAS DISPROPORTIONATELY
FALLEN ON COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.
AND RATHER THAN A GATEWAY TO
MORE DANGEROUS DRUGS, IT SERVES
AS A GATEWAY FROM THE HARDER
STUFF.
THAT'S THE NARRATIVE FOR THE
PAST 25 YEARS OR SO.
BUT IS IT TRUE?
IN HIS NEW BOOK, TELL YOUR
CHILDREN THE TRUTH ABOUT
MARIJUANA, THE AUTHOR ARGUES
VIGOROUSLY THAT IT IS NOT.
HE JOINS US NOW.
YOU HEARD ME GIVE THE LITANY OF
THE REASON WHY LEGALIZATION IS
NECESSARY.
LET'S SEE IF WE CAN BREAK IT
DOWN ONE AT A TIME.
FIRST OF ALL, THAT IT IS MORE
LIKELY TO BE GOOD FOR YOUR
HEALTH THAN BAD.
HASN'T CANNABIS PROVEN TO BE
BENEFICIAL TO YOUR HEALTH?
AND THAT'S WHY IT'S BEEN LEGAL
IN MANY STATES?
>> THAT ONE IS THE EASIEST TO
KNOCK DOWN.
CLEARLY UNTRUE.
SMOKED CANNABIS IS NOT
BENEFICIAL FOR NEARLY ANY OF THE
CONDITIONS THAT IT HAS CLAIMED
TO HELP.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE
REVIEWED THE LITERATURE IN
DEPTH.
THEY SAID PEOPLE HAD SAY IT'S
GOOD FOR CANCER OR IRRITABLE
BOWEL SYNDROME, A WHOLE LITANY
OF CONDITIONS, THERE IS NO
EVIDENCE IT IS GOOD FOR ANY OF
THOSE THINGS.
IT HELPS TREAT PAIN.
IT IS AN INTOXICANT.
ALCOHOL IS ALWAYS BIT OF A
PAINKILLER.
BUT THERE IS A GOOD STUDY THAT
CAME OUT LAST YEAR THAT FOUND
PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC PAIN AND
USED CANNABIS REPORTED MORE PAIN
AFTER A FOUR-YEAR PERIOD AND
WERE MORE LIKELY.
IT ISN'T VERY GOOD IN THE LONG
RUN.
>> HERE'S SOMETHING FROM SOME OF
YOUR CRITICS.
HE WRITES THAT THC HAS BEEN
HELPFUL TO NAUSEA AND VOMITING
AND IT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BE
EFFECTIVE INETT TRUEING
PARKINSON'S, ALS, GLAUCOMA,
ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AND A WIDE
RANGE OF AILMENTS.
>> THE FIRST HALF IS TRUE.
THC, THE PSYCHO ACTIVE DWRED IN
CANNABIS, THE STUFF THAT GETS
YOU HIGH, HAS BEEN APPROVED BY
THE FDA TO TREAT THAT PARTICULAR
CONDITION.
NOTHING ELSE.
BUT ALL THE OTHER STUFF HE SAYS
THAT CANNABIS IS GOOD FOR, IT'S
NOT TRUE.
THIS IS WHAT THE ADVOCATES DO.
THEY TAKE THE VERY, VERY SMALL
SLIVER OF MEDICINE THAT CANNABIS
OR THC OR CBD, ANOTHER CHEMICAL
IN CANNABIS, HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR
AND THEY JUMP TO A MASSIVE ARRAY
OF CONDITIONS TO WHICH THERE'S
NO EVIDENCE.
IN MOST CASES NO, EVIDENCE.
IN A FEW CASES, ALMOST NO
EVIDENCE.
>> SO WHAT HARM TO YOUR HEALTH?
>> SO SMOKING IN GENERAL IS NOT
GREAT FOR YOU.
MY BOOK FOCUSES ON THE HARMFUL
ASPECTS.
THAT IT IS BAD FOR YOUR MENTAL
HEALTH.
AND PROLONGED USE BY AD LESS
ENLTS HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BE
LINKED TO SCHIZOPHRENIC, THE
MOST DEVASTATING MENTAL ILLNESS
OF ALL.
EVEN TEMPORARY MENTAL ILLNESS
CAN CAUSE TEMPORARY PSYCHOSIS.
AND I DON'T THINK ADVOCATES
WOULD ARGUE THAT IT CAUSES
PARANOIA IN A LOT OF PEOPLE.
>> BUT TEMPORARY PARANOIA.
>> YES.
BUT WHEN YOU'RE ARGUING, AND
THIS HAS BEEN BIG A ARGUMENT
AROUND THE BOOK.
WHEN YOU ARGUE ABOUT WHETHER IT
CAN CAUSE SCHIZOPHRENIC AND
CAUSE PERMANENT PSYCHOSIS, THE
FACT THAT IT CAN CAUSE TEMPORARY
PSYCH HE IS ON IT IS EVEN IN
HEALTHY PEOPLE IS PART OF THE
REASON WHY IT CAN CAUSE THERE
AREPSYCHOSIS IS A GOOD ONE.
>> YOU LAID OUT A LOT OF
REASONS.
GIVE US ONE EXAMPLE.
>> THE VERY BEST ONE WAS THE
VERY FIRST.
IT CAME OUT IN 1987.
IT COVERED 50,000 SWEDISH ARMY
RECRUITS WHO WERE IN SWEDEN,
RECRUITED INTO THE MILITARY IN
1969, 1970.
AND THEY WERE FOLLOWED UP TO SEE
WHO DEVELOPED PSYCHOSIS 15 YEARS
LATER OR SO.
IF YOU USED CANNABIS TEN TIMES,
YOU HAD A HIGHER CHANCE OF
PSYCHOSIS.
IF YOU USED IN ADOLESCENCE,
YOU'RE TWO TO THREE TIMES MORE
LIKELY TO DEVELOP SCHIZOPHRENIA.
AND IT IS A TERRIBLE DISEASE.
TERRIBLE FOR THE SUFFERERS.
IT DESTROYS FAMILIES.
EVEN IF WE'RE TALKING TO
SOMETHING THAT ONLY HAPPENS TO
ONE IN 100 PEOPLE USE CANNABIS
REGULARLY, IT IS SUCH A BAD
DISEASE THAT WE NEED TO TALK
ABOUT IT.
>> ELECTED OFFICIALS USUALLY
FOCUS ON, TRUE IN NEW YORK CITY
AT LEAST, THAT THE MARIJUANA
LAWS DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECT
COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.
PARTICULARLY AFRICAN-AMERICAN
COMMUNITIES.
>> THAT'S TRUE.
ARE IT DOES TEND TO FOCUS ON THE
AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY.
THE IDEA THAT PEOPLE TO GO
PRISON FOR CANNABIS USE IS NOT
TRUE.
NOT JUST IN STATES.
>> AS YOU JUST SAID, THERE ARE
OTHER NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF BEING
ARRESTED FOR MARIJUANA.
IT MESSES WITH YOUR JOB.
>> I'M NOT IN FAVOR OF
PROHIBITING MARIJUANA.
40 MILLION PEOPLE USED IN IT
2017.
WE WON'T ARREST THEM ALL OR SEND
THEM ALL TO JAIL.
THERE IS A REASONABLE
COMPROMISE.
DECRIMINALIZATION, USE, IT WON'T
BE SUBJECT TO ARREST.
PERSONAL USE IS NOT SOMETHING
THE POLICE WILL WORRY ABOUT.
BUT WE WON'T ALLOW A LEGALIZED
SYSTEM WHERE THERE ARE XROIMS
MOTORING THIS, COMPANIES
LOBBYING AGAINST THE SCIENCE ON
THIS.
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED WITH
TOBACCO.
>> A LOT OF STATES ARE FOR
LEGALIZATION.
AND IT WILL HAPPEN.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP IT?
>> THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO TO
STOP IT.
I WROTE THE BOOK.
IT IS UMBRELLA THE SCIENCE AND
MEDICINE AROUND AND IT IT IS FOR
PARENTS WHO WANT TO TALK TO
THEIR KIDS WHO MIGHT BE USING
AND 16 OR 17 AND HAVING NEGATIVE
EFFECTS.
IT IS FOR THE 25-YEAR-OLD WHO IS
STARTING TO GET PARANOID AND
CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY HE CAN'T
STOP SMOKING.
>> IT IS FAR FROM BEING A
GATEWAY TO OTHER DRUGS LIKE
REEFER MADNESS.
A GATEWAY TO HARDER DRUGS.
AND STATISTICS PROVE IT.
>> THAT'S A BIZARRE ARE
ASSERTION.
THERE IS NOBODY WHO WOULD ARGUE
THAT IT IS ARE AN GATEWAY.
YOU HAVE TO GET IT FROM SOMEONE
WHO HAS ARE HEROIN OR COCAINE.
SO WE SHOULD MOVE IT OUT.
THAT AS LEGITIMATE ARGUMENT.
THE COUNTER ARGUMENT IS IT PRIMS
YOUR BRAIN TO WANT MORE EUPHORIC
CHEMICALS.
IN THE LONG RUN, THAT WILL DRIVE
TO YOU USE HARDER DRUGS.
I WOULD SAY THAT IS A DIFFERENT
QUESTION.
IF THEY USE OPIOIDS AGAIN,
INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE USING
CANNABIS ARE MORE LIKELY TO
BECOME OPIOID USERS.
THERE'S VERY GOOD EVIDENCE.
THE STUDY THAT'S YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT ARE REALLY BAD
EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES.
>> FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE STATES
WHERE MARIJUANA HAS BEEN
LEGALIZED, THE RATE OF OPIOID
ADDICTION HAD DECREASED?
>> THEY'RE SAYING IN STATES WITH
MEDICAL MARIJUANA, OPIOID DEATHS
DECREASED.
AND THAT'S BASED ON ON PRE 2010
DATA OF.
THE STATES WHERE IT WAS THE
WORST WERE IN APPALACHIAN.
NOW, IF YOU LOOK AT MORE RECENT
DATA WHICH WE HAVE, NOW THAT
LEGALIZATION HAS SPREAD, AND THE
EPIDEMIC HAS SPREAD, THAT HAS
DISAPPEARED.
THEY'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT A
PAPER FIVE YEARS OLD BASED ON
10-YEAR-OLD DATA.
>> WE'LL HAVE TO END IT THERE.
THE TRUTH IS ABOUT MARIJUANA AND

Funders

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