November 15, 2019

PETER HITCHENS ON “BIG DOPE:” How marijuana benefited from one of the slickest PR campaigns in history.

Loughner’s supposed political views are incoherent drivel of the sort that makes the average Klansman sound like Socrates. He had no politics worth the name, and if he had, the murder of six people including a nine-year-old girl could not possibly have advanced them.

For the killer was officially crazy. Or at least not officially sane. Pima Community College, where he was a constant menace, eventually asked him to get a certificate showing he was mentally OK. He never did. It took this bizarre step after he repeatedly caused noisy and worrying disruptions. One classmate, Lynda Sorensen, told friends that Loughner was ‘mentally unstable’ and ‘scares the living crap out of me’. She added that he was the sort of person ‘whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon’.

This kind of individual madness was rare before 1960. Why is there now so much of it? Well, we know that Loughner, described by a high-school classmate as a pothead, had been rejected by the US Army in 2008 because of his admitted marijuana use. It was not minor. Pima police picked him up in 2007 because his car stank of marijuana. The offense was recorded, but, as so often in the alleged War on Drugs, nothing happened to him. Much of this information emerged some time after the shootings, when interest had cooled.

Earlier: Second Thoughts on Pot: “‘Yeah, they all smoke.’ ‘Well . . . other things too, right?’ ‘Sometimes. But they all smoke.’”

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