Cynthia A. Janak
February 25, 2008
Marijuana vs. SSRIs: which is safer
By Cynthia A. Janak

What I am going to do today is give you a comparison of different news reports that deal with the murder of an individual or many individuals because of marijuana or SSRI use. So far I have spent several hours on this topic. To my dismay I did not find any articles where a person who just smoked marijuana picked up a gun and murdered innocent people. What I did find were many articles were people were murdered because of a marijuana buy or because they were a dealer. Here are some of the articles that I found.

Murder trial to go forward in motel marijuana shootout
By TERRY VAU DELL-Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/21/2008 12:12:46 AM PST

OROVILLE A judge Wednesday refused to dismiss murder charges against a Bay Area suspect involved in a marijuana deal that turned deadly at an Oroville motel in 2006.

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008
Two may face murder charge in shooting of accomplice in Yakima
The Associated Press

YAKIMA, Wash. Two Tri-Cities men may face murder and other charges in the shooting of an accomplice during what police say was a robbery attempt during an arranged marijuana sale at an upscale house.

2 men linked to double homicide plead guilty to drug charges
Men were not indicted on capital murder charges in Aug.

By Mary Ann Cavazos (Contact)
Originally published 05:07 p.m., February 21, 2008
Updated 05:07 p.m., February 21, 2008

Before the sentencing, an 18-year-old woman testified Salas and Gonzalez had planned to rob the men of drugs that night. Demetria Hernandez was in the car and dropped to the floor of the vehicle's backseat to hide after she heard the men start to argue over the drug deal. After hearing gunshots and the other vehicle speed off, she found Salas and Gonzalez had been shot and called 911.

Published on Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Two men hit by gunfire testify at murder trial
By Paul Woolverton
Staff writer

Witnesses on Monday testified that Simmons, McLaurin, Danielle Hall and Raphael Thomas were driving around in McLaurin's car when Simmons decided to contact Chason to buy marijuana. The plan changed to robbing Chason, Hall testified.

301 F.3d 1138
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Manuel GAMEZ, a.k.a. Manuel Gamez-Rubio, Gustavo Gamez, Manuel Flores-Falvez, Manuel Gomez-Rubio, Manuel Flores-Galvez, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 00-10307.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Argued and Submitted March 14, 2002.
Filed August 29, 2002.

Page 1141


On the night of June 2, 1998, Border Patrol Agents Alexander Kirpnick ("Kirpnick") and Steven Heiden ("Heiden") were searching for illegal aliens in Potrero Canyon, north of the Arizona-Mexico border. They saw four men walking in a line, two of whom were walking several feet in front of the others. Each was carrying a bag containing approximately twenty-five pounds of marijuana.

Kirpnick went toward the two smugglers walking in the front of the line. He told them to "sit down." Heiden approached Gamez and another smuggler in the back of the line, both of whom dropped their bags and ran away. Heiden then yelled to Kirpnick that he had found drugs. Kirpnick responded "I know." Five seconds later, one of the smugglers next to Kirpnick shot him in the head. Kirpnick died the next morning. Gamez was not the shooter.1

From 'Popular Kid' to Murder Suspect; Crime: People who knew Jesse Hollywood as an outgoing boy can't believe he's accused in a drug- related slaying.
[Home Edition]
Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, Calif.
Author: SUE FOX
Date: Sep 3, 2000
Start Page: 1
Section: Metro; PART- B; PART-; Metro Desk

Authorities suspect that Hollywood started selling marijuana at least a year before the murder. By the time Markowitz was killed, Hollywood had allegedly established himself as a well-known drug dealer with a network of other dealers working for him.'Popular+Kid'+to+Murder+Suspect%3B+Crime%3A+People+who+knew+Jesse+Hollywood+as+an+outgoing+boy+can't+believe+he's+accused+in+a+drug-+related+slaying.&pqatl=google

I spent a lot of time reading various articles that dated back to 1993. The only articles that I considered were the ones that did not have alcohol or other drugs associated with the killing. I was looking for articles that mentioned marijuana as to the sole contributing factor.

As you can see by what I found the only reason for a marijuana related murder was because of a drug deal gone bad.

What all this reminds me of are the stories that I heard about the alcohol prohibition days. Similar things happened during that dark part of our history. My belief is that it was abolished because prohibition did not work. In fact the criminal activity increased which, I believe, is another reason why it was abolished.

I found this about prohibition on one of my favorite sites Wikipedia.

Many social problems have been attributed to the Prohibition era. A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Racketeering happened when powerful gangs corrupted law enforcement agencies. Stronger liquor surged in popularity because its potency made it more profitable to smuggle. The cost of enforcing Prohibition was high, and the lack of tax revenues on alcohol (some $500 million annually nationwide) affected government coffers. When repeal of Prohibition occurred in 1933, organized crime lost nearly all of its black market alcohol profits in most states (states still had the right to enforce their own laws concerning alcohol consumption), because of competition with low-priced alcohol sales at legal liquor stores.

As you can see this is the atmosphere we have today in regards to marijuana. Question: Should we allow the prolonged prohibition of marijuana and the violent black market to continue?

Now on to SSRI's and murder. What I am going to do is just reference one site, SSRI Stories. This site has a comprehensive list of murders and other dreadful acts by people who were or are on a type of SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). I am only going to list the news reports for the month of February of 2008. Read it and weep.

SSRI Stories states that it has over 2100 reports. This is what they say.

Most of the stories on this site describe events which occurred after the year 2000. The increase in online news material and the efficiency of search engines has greatly increased the ability to track stories. Even these 2100+ documented stories only represent the tip of an iceberg since most stories do not make it into the media.

With the evidence that I had acquired in doing this research I did a comparison for the risk of murder by the users of marijuana and SSRI's. My conclusion is that marijuana is safer for the average individual use. SSRI's are dangerous to the health and safety of society as a whole and have the potential to create because of use an individual capable of mass murder.

Because of my findings I feel it is safe to say that the prohibition on the usage of marijuana has created a black market atmosphere of criminal activity between the United States and surrounding countries because of illegal transportation and selling of marijuana by gangs and other gangster types.

To repeal the legislation that created this black market atmosphere surrounding marijuana could have positive effects. The revenue that could be generated by taxation of the legal sales of marijuana could and would help pay down the huge Federal deficit that the United States faces today. We could then buy back the notes that are held by China and other foreign countries. The crimes involved with the illegal black market distribution would decrease. An establishment that sold legal marijuana could be required to have a license therefore adding revenue to the state coffers. The legal farming of marijuana could be monitored and eliminate our reliance on illegally grown marijuana from Mexico. These farms would be a new source of income for the United States farmer. This would decrease the need for farm subsidies. Medical marijuana usage could minimize the adverse side-effects from certain medical treatments. The lower cost of legal marijuana could deter individuals from purchasing higher cost illegal substances. It would also lower the crimes by individuals trying to fund the black market high cost. Legalizing marijuana would free up time that our law enforcement officials could use to fighting the war on terrorists and other heinous acts.

If marijuana were legalized there could be greater regulation such as an ingredient list, warnings and purity levels clearly marked on the packaging. We already have this type of regulation for cigarettes and alcohol and they kill more people than marijuana.

One of the things that would have to happen is that there would have to be a legal limit set for marijuana usage and driving similar to what we have for alcohol because like alcohol the reaction times are impaired and the person should not be driving any motorized vehicle. The same types of laws should apply.

Our prisons could be divested of any individual that was arrested for private recreational consumption of marijuana. Because of the decrease of individuals incarcerated in our prisons we would have less of a burden on the tax payer in maintaining our prisons at their current levels. The need to build additional prisons would not be necessary.

Here are some statistics taken from the FBI website. I am going to focus only on marijuana arrests.

Arrest Table
Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations
Percent Distribution by Region, 2006

As you can see with this chart 43.9% of the arrests are for marijuana with 39.1% being for possession. If we could eliminate 39.1% that would mean approximately 539,535 individuals per year would not have to be prosecuted. Can you imagine the money that would be saved by the taxpayer? My estimation would be quite a bit.

In conclusion, my opinion is that all SSRI's should be considered a controlled substance. They should be banned from consumption and replaced with medicinal marijuana. The worst that can happen is that there would be more people going to McDonalds and Burger King because they are having a case of the munchies. Inserted within the packaging could be a 5% off coupon for Bally's or Cardinal Fitness to offset this potential issue. Would that be so bad?


December 19, 1840 Abraham Lincoln made this statement about prohibition.

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason, in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded."

© Cynthia A. Janak


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Cynthia A. Janak

Cynthia Janak is a freelance journalist, mother of three, foster mother of one, grandmother of five, business owner, Chamber of Commerce member... (more)


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