Get Real — Marijuana Use Fuels Crime and Domestic Violence

A man who brutally chased a woman with fire tongs and broke her jaw in Prescott, AZ, was a medical marijuana cardholder.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that marijuana legalization will increase domestic violence and violence against women and children.  We have written on this subject previously.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  While we acknowledge the problem, let’s also acknowledge that  substance abuse is connected to nearly all domestic violence.*  Heavy marijuana users were the perpetrators in three domestic violence stories in the news over the past two weeks.

Near Portland, Oregon, a mother shot her 17-year-old son on Sept. 24.  Diane Davidoff’s paranoia and other mental illness, certainly made worse by frequent marijuana usage, probably led to the killing of her son.  She worried that others were out to get her.

On September 30, Zachary Ham, a 19-year old in Virginia shot his 19-year-old girlfriend, the mother of his child, and then himself. The teen’s grandfather claimed that early marijuana usage at age 13 had changed his personality, caused depression and contributed to his anti-social behavior.   Both Ham and Davidoff appeared to suddenly snap during the period leading up to the killings.

Zachary Ham, 19, with Jasmyne Haslett, 19, and their son, Aidan. Zachary had been acting strangely over a short period of time.Jasmyne moved away and filed an Order of Protection. He warned of killing her, if he couldn’t have her. Their son survives. (Photo: Daily Mail)

Sentencing for a batterer in Rhode Island came this past week. Manny Algaria brutally beat his partner, Catherine Salvi, to death.  She went into a coma and then she died 3 weeks later on January 4, 2014.  A marijuana user, Algaria has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.  His case is like many of the cases that marijuana advocates use to pass deceptive information about marijuana convictions.**

Ashton Sacks, a 19-year-old who lived in Washington allegedly drove 1200 miles to southern California to shoot his parents and other family members. Ashton wasted away his days continually smoking marijuana and playing a particular video game. The wealthy youth was fascinated with the Menendez murders, when two brothers killed their wealthy parents back in 1989. Sacks apparently went several sleepless nights before the murder, which would fit with a manic episode. However, his long-term social history would imply a deviant mind, something more reckless than the relatively common condition of bipolar disorder. He had made one suicide attempt, as teen marijuana users are 7x more likely to attempt suicide.

Nearly every high profile murderer or trial this year involved a marijuana user: Eddie Routh, James Holmes, Johar Tsarnaev, Dylann Roof, Robert Durst, Mohammed Abdulazeez and Aaron Hernandez. Yet, there is a disconnect between the evidence and a national press that doesn’t evaluate the facts regarding the commercialization of marijuana — unless the goal is to kill more people. (The press usually prints articles supportive of stories placed by the cannabis industry.)

Brutal Attacks that Victims Survive

Another violent attack in the news this past week was perpetuated by a marijuana user in Vancouver, British Columbia.  A  15-year-old boy brutally attacked another teen with a hammer, baseball bat and knives simply because the other youth was cultivating a friendship with his former girlfriend.  The violent one was a heavy marijuana user.  A year ago, Jaylen Fryberg shot his former girlfriend and other friends in his school cafeteria. The Twitter feed available online revealed his heavy marijuana use to get over the recent breakup.  In the West Coast of Weed, such acts seem more common.


*A study in 1995 showed that 92 % of perpetrators had used drugs or alcohol the day of the assault. Daniel Brookoff, M.D., PhD “Drugs, Alcohol and Domestic Violence in Memphis” (Oct 1997) National institute of Justice. It is referenced in Ed Gogek’s book, Marijuana Debunked.

** If a marijuana conviction is the only cause on record, it is usually because of plea bargains. Pro-pot groups try to convince the general public that possession alone without the intention to sell is the reason for people going to prison. Most criminal justice experts agree that loosening possession laws would have little effect on the total numbers in prison. Read Marijuana Debunked for more info.