Some weak sauce propaganda from some Mass Medical Society Blog. Did the marathon bombers bomb that shit because they were high??? or experiencing weed withdrawals?
Some people (like a lot of you here) will read that and say 'you know what, that doctor is right, marijuana is totally the reason why this happened! OMG'
The news media has reported over and over that the 19-year-old marathon bombing suspect had a penchant for “smoking weed.” Is it possible that abuse of marijuana had anything to do with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s breaking evil? I believe that it may have been one of many factors that contributed to the evil-doing that wreaked havoc on our beloved Boston Marathon.
Numerous acquaintances of Dzhokhar describe the suspected bomber as something of a “stoner.” If he was getting high on a daily or near-daily basis, then he most certainly had THC in his brain at the time of the bombing.
On the other hand, when a chronic marijuana abuser decides to go clean, it can take 6 to 12 weeks for the THC to leave his system. As THC levels drop, chronic users can become anxious and irritable. Perhaps low-grade withdrawal symptoms played a role in irrational decision making.
But if chronic or intermittent pot-smoking remained in the picture until Patriots Day, then perhaps this most profoundly misguided of decisions was influenced by the suspect’s being under the influence. Heavy marijuana users shed IQ points, and don’t think as clearly as they did before they started bathing their brains in THC, which is there around-the-clock because of its ultra-long half-life.
Much of the reporting indicates that Dzhokhar functioned at a higher level in high school than he did in college. If so, marijuana may have played a role in “dumbing him down.” His academics may have suffered, and, in the words of his own uncle, he became, “a loser.” It isn’t easy to tolerate going from being a winner to being a loser. A pot-addled loser, with parents half a world away, might be particularly at risk for coming under the influence of a simplistic, radical ideology, foisted upon him by a domineering older brother.
Although there is a chilling and slightly bizarre quality to some of Dzhokhar’s final Tweets, none of the reported material presented to date suggests what we psychiatrists refer to as overt psychosis. But the kind of disturbed, paranoid thinking sometimes induced by chronic marijuana abuse, may be subtle, and this, too, may have been a factor that contributed to the Patriot’s Day outrage.
Today’s marijuana has a very high THC content and young people who are chronic smokers may experience cognitive dulling and delayed neurodevelopment. Take parents out of the picture, add a radicalized fundamentalist authority figure, and throw in readily available online recipes for small weapons of mass destruction, and voila: Evil incarnate emerges.
Here in Massachusetts, where the medical use of marijuana has been recently approved by the voting public, we physicians should take pause. There is no medical evidence to support prescribing medical marijuana – it is a potentially harmful, addictive psychoactive substance that may contribute to a host of difficulties in the brains of developing teenagers, young adults, and others with risk factors for a variety of psychiatric and addictive disorders.