As the United States deals with the fallout from yet another mass shooting, this time at a July Fourth parade in Illinois, some conservatives have attempted to pin some of the blame on marijuana use.
In connection with Monday’s shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, Robert Crimo III, 22, has been charged with seven counts of murder.
Despite being called to his home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide, Crimo legally purchased five weapons, including the high-powered rifle used to fire off more than 70 roads from a rooftop in Monday’s shooting.
The shooting on Monday is the latest report of a suspect who allegedly obtained weapons legally before carrying out a mass shooting, despite warning signs. However, as with other recent mass shootings, Republicans have attempted to divert attention away from the issue of gun control.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia suggested during a recent livestream that Crimo’s alleged marijuana use was a factor in the shooting.
He was a “frequent cannabis smoker,” she claimed, citing online posts discovered by Alex Berenson, a writer and anti-vaccine activist dubbed “the pandemic’s wrongest man.”
“Marijuana affects everyone differently,” she explained. “Some people enjoy it. Some people excel at it. Some people say they can focus on it, but for some people, it actually causes psychosis, which absolutely could be the case… if you watch any of this guy’s music videos, he clearly was suffering from psychosis. He’s absolutely crazy. And law enforcement knew it.”
“But he was still able to buy guns legally despite Illinois’ most stringent gun control laws,” Greene said. “This doesn’t add up. Everyone should be upset about this, and questions should be raised.”
Greene’s remarks follow Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s attempt to blame everything but guns for America’s latest gun massacre on Tuesday night.
Carlson claimed that young men like Crimo are “high on government-approved weed” and “inhabit a solitary fantasy world of social media, porn, and video games.”
“They are numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that crackpots posing as counselors hand out in every school in the country,” he continued.
“Of course, they are angry because they know that their lives will be worse than their parents’. They are well aware that this is almost certainly the case. “They’re not that stupid,” Carlson asserted. “Yet the authorities in their lives, mostly women, never stop lecturing them about their ostensibly privileged position.” ‘You are privileged because you are male.’ Try to imagine a more unhealthy and unhappy life than that. As a result, many young men in America are going insane.”
Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host, also claimed on her show that cannabis use was associated with violent behavior.
“In the case of the Illinois mass shooting, all indications point to Robert Crimo being a regular marijuana user,” she said. “What can regular marijuana use cause in young men in particular?” Psychosis and other violent personality changes, not everyone, but a significant percentage.”
Ingraham also suggested marijuana was to blame for gun violence last month, following the death of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, by a teen gunman. “Why aren’t people talking about the marijuana psychosis-violent behavior connection more?” she asked on her show.
The notion that marijuana use leads to violent behavior has been thoroughly debunked, with some social media critics pointing out that mass shootings do not occur on a regular basis in countries where marijuana is legal.
According to The Washington Post, numerous researchers have investigated the relationship between marijuana use and crime and “for all intents and purposes, they haven’t found one.”
In 2013, the Rand Corporation concluded for the Obama White House that “marijuana use does not induce violent crime.”
Furthermore, research has found that legalizing marijuana had little effect on crime rates.