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Jan-19-2011 18:10printcomments

Reefer Madness, Tucson, Marijuana and Psychosis: there is No Real Connection

Years ago state mental hospitals were closed. Today these are the homeless, suicides and death by exposure.

For many, the first job with Jared Laughner was an attempt to tie his life to marijuana use.
For many, the first job with Jared Laughner was an attempt to tie his life to marijuana use.

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - Every time some serious crime occurs, the marijuanaphobes sniff around to find if devil weed was involved. It is the most commonly used legal or illegal drug for juveniles with possibly alcohol or beer running close by. At any rate Jared Loughner was discovered to be a user and the kneejerk answer was that Marijuana made him crazy and that’s why he caused the massacre.

I have news for the marijuanaphobes – he was most likely using it to calm the demons in his soul. I write this with the knowledge that California doctors are using Marijuana for treatment of schizophrenia and it is successful.

A psychologist or psychiatrist also reported on TV today that he was a computer game player which also “drives players crazy”. This is really strange. Millions of players from 6 to 96 are playing computer games. I don’t think this type of recreation is causing any psychosis, maybe brain numbness though!

From the stories about Laughner he has been unbalanced for a long time and the evidence seems to be that it just sneaked up on him after a reasonably normal childhood. Although this itself seems to be in question.

He was known to be heavy into alcohol which is a brain depressant. He also used Marijuana which is a brain stimulant or euphoric. He also used L.S.D. or Acid which is a brain scrambler. It is probable that none of these was really responsible for his mental break up. I presume I’ll get much static about this. The effects of alcohol and L.S.D. are well known. The Reefer Madness appellation for Marijuana is just that. It does far more good than any other medicine or substance that anybody can profess.

I would guess that whomever is incarcerating him is planning anti-psychotic drugs for him which may numb his demons but may turn him into a vegetable as many of those drugs do. I do not envy him in this situation and certainly have great empathy for his psychiatrists if he has any.

It is hoped that the congress or mental health experts will now recommend better identification and help for the about 2 million mental health victims in the U.S. Years ago they shut down the state mental hospitals so the patients could get care in their home towns. Nothing was done and these are now the homeless, suicides and death by exposure.

Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist.

Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon. Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
Email him:

More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole". Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

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Jess B January 20, 2011 7:02 am (Pacific time)

Agreed. The mental health system needs serious reformation. I feel for his parents, these tragedies very tumultuous for the criminal's families. So many people want to boil this down to one particular "cause" for effect. Psychosis creeps in due to more than simply environmental factors, however they can't be completely dismissed. Genetics can make a humbling impact, just as it would for cancer or any other disease.

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