Wednesday, July 23, 2003

The link between marijuana and violent crime was first drawn by local law enforcement officials. In a 1917 report, an investigator from the U.S. Department of Agriculture quoted a Texas police captain who said marijuana produces a “lust for blood.” The captain claimed habitual users “become violent, especially when they become angry, and will attack an officer even if a gun is drawn.” He added that they “seem to have no fear,” are “insensible to pain,” and display “abnormal strength,” so that “it will take several men to handle one man.” According to a 1925 account from a U.S. Army botanist, the superintendent of the prison in Yuma, Arizona, having observed inmates who used marijuana, reported that “under its baneful influence reckless men become bloodthirsty, trebly daring and dangerous to an uncontrollable degree.” The botanist also cited an American diplomat in Mexico who said marijuana “causes the smoker to become exceedingly pugnacious and to run amuck without discrimination.”

Jacob Sullum, Saying Yes (200)

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