Not Guilty by Reason of Pot?

A horrific murder case in Canada could possibly have a profound impact on the rule of law in the years to come. That’s because this is the first time in the Western hemisphere (near as we can tell) that a murder is being blamed solely – by both prosecutors and doctors – to have been caused by the use of cannabis. Courts are only just beginning to deal with the consequences of how to deal with brutal murders that are a direct result of marijuana legalization.

The big push in America to legalize marijuana for recreational use started in 2012, with Colorado and Washington being the first states to succumb to a lack of science and a slick marketing campaign… from drug dealers. Today we have 11 states where it’s totally legal to use cannabis products. Canada legalized pot use for the whole country recently as well. Nowadays if you even suggest that maybe it’s not a good idea to make pot legal, you get portrayed as a blue-nosed Puritanical fuddy-duddy.

This has sent a catastrophic message to young people in both the US and Canada. A lot of teens think that marijuana is perfectly harmless – like it’s no different than when their uncle drinks a beer. But as marijuana use explodes in states where it has become recreationally legal for adults, we’re seeing huge spikes in ailments no one had ever heard of a few years ago, and savage murders committed by people who were perfectly normal a few minutes before they tried the new 80 to 90% THC concentrations available. (By way of comparison, the pot you tried in college a couple of decades ago was only 4 to 5% THC.)

Now, to the case in Canada:

30-year-old Jason Dickout and his sister were visiting at their parents’ house in Edmonton for Easter a couple of years ago. While their parents were out, Jason and his sister smoked a joint in the evening around 7:00. Jason Dickout was an otherwise normal young man in every way. But around 10:30 that night, Jason started acting really weird. He started making animal noises and spouting gibberish, according to his sister. In order to calm him down, she gave him a drop of her medically prescribed cannabis oil.

About 90 minutes later when police arrived at the home, Jason was naked and covered in blood from head to toe, after stabbing his own mother to death in a psychotic rage. He was laughing the whole time and kept telling police how much his mother loves him. They had to sedate him before taking him to the hospital.

Two days after taking a 1ml dose of cannabis oil, Jason returned to normal, with no memory of what he had done. The last thing he remembered (so he says) from the night when he chopped his mother up was taking that single drop of cannabis oil. No other drugs were found in his system.

A panel of doctors that has examined him agrees that Jason suffered an incident of cannabis-induced psychosis – a condition that is far more prevalent than the American media and the pot lobby would like you to believe.

The question that courts are now having to grapple with is: How do you sentence someone for a crime that was caused by the single use of a product that we’re being told is A) harmless and B) perfectly fine for recreational use? Is this manslaughter? Murder? Something else? Jason agrees that he killed his mother, even though he has no memory of it.

There’s a medical condition now known as “cannabis use disorder” that most of us haven’t heard of either. I had to look it up. Basically, a heavy pot user becomes so addicted to pot that they become non-functional, neglecting work and family obligations and even their own children.

One of the sub-categories of the condition is cannabis-induced psychosis, which is what doctors say happened to Jason Dickout. In some cases, first-time pot use can trigger full-blown schizophrenia, which the pot user will never recover from. In situations like Jason’s, the psychotic break happens and then goes away once the THC leaves their system.

Doctors at the Caron Foundation in Philadelphia – a drug treatment and rehab nonprofit – say that “cannabis use disorder” cases among 18- to 26-year-olds have increased by 40% since 2014, right after states started legalizing pot for recreational use. Many of those patients have experienced cannabis-induced psychotic incidents, albeit without the murders.

This is all happening in plain sight. And we’re legalizing pot for recreational use because… why?

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