Like many people across the country, conservative pundit and former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum has some thoughts on the recent tragedy in Arizona. However, his thoughts are not like most's thoughts:

After horrific shootings, we hear calls for stricter regulation of guns. The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana.

Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a "pot smoking loner."

He had two encounters with the law, one for possession of drug paraphernalia.

He goes on to argue that Loughner's affection for weed, when combined with his mental illness, worsened the situation — that things may not have been as bad had drugs been cut out of the equation.

But hey, you know what really would've made things less deadly if it had been out of the picture? Guns — the absence of guns would've made things much, much, much, much less shitty for everybody involved. 

Commentarium (88 Comments)

Jan 11 11 - 4:29pm

Wait a minute... People high on pot are not prone to acts of violence; they're prone to acts of silence... puff, puff, pass...

Jan 11 11 - 4:45pm

Weed relaxes you, it doesn't make you go kill a bunch of innocent people. If he blamed crack, yeah ok I might agree.

Jan 11 11 - 4:46pm
Vinegar Bend

I see Frum is still a paid professional liar.
The shooter was described as a "potsmoking loner" years before this happened. Besides...did he SHOOT people with reefer?

Jan 11 11 - 4:49pm

His mother was a legendary Canadian journalist. She must be rolling in her grave.

Jan 11 11 - 5:05pm

If anything, this kid needed more weed. I am not a drug advocate AT ALL -- but I know that getting high tends to get in the way of accomplishing goals (demented or otherwise).

Jul 16 11 - 4:20pm

Damn, you're right. In fact man... I meant to comment on this 6 months ago... and never got around to it...

Jan 11 11 - 5:07pm

@TorontoMD - I'm with you on that one. Barbara is no doubt spinning at the stupidity of her offspring.

Jan 11 11 - 5:16pm
Andrew Kim

Not trying to echo what Jon Stewart said, but blaming everything under the sun isn't going to solve problems like this in the future. It's especially despicable of Frum to exploit a national tragedy to push his own unrelated political agenda. Is it even worth pointing out how many "potsmoking loners" there are who *don't* assassinate their representatives?

Jan 11 11 - 6:24pm

In interviews with a friend of his, it was suggested that Loughner had quit toking altogether. Schizophrenics I have known were heavy smokers - didn't seem to make any difference either way.
Not much to see here - just more BS blame and evasion - nothing to be proud of.

Jan 11 11 - 6:39pm
elmer fudd

standard diversionary tactics to take the focus off the wingnut from alaska

Jan 12 11 - 1:17am

I think that blaming weed here is a gross oversimplification. However (my personal feelings about pot aside) I think there have been some not-entirely-dismissible studies that suggest that marijuana may hasten the onset of or exacerbate schizophrenia that was already going to manifest because of a person's inherited genes. Like I said, I think it's dumb here to blame weed, but considering what's come out about Loughner, it's no dumber than blaming Palin or conservative rhetoric... dude was crazy and he was gonna go off. There's been absolutely no evidence to suggest that he ever saw Palin's map.

Jan 12 11 - 5:07am

What about the multitudes of pot-smoking non-loners who don't do anything violent at all? I am not a smoker, nor do I consider it a particularly worthwhile activity, but this guy is just grabbing at straws.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that it could exacerbate schizophrenic symptoms -- some of the symptoms have been tied to malfunctioning cannabinoid receptors in the brain -- but only in relatively few patients with specific types of the disorder. Also, the studies done so far are still being fleshed out by follow-ups. It is all very preliminary, and certainly not enough to base sweeping generalizations like this on.

Jan 12 11 - 5:11am

wait a minute...marijuana is regulated so what good did that

Jan 12 11 - 5:12am

I'll think you will find it had more to do with the psychotropic, MKULTRA style, experiments the US is conducting on both its own people and people from ethnic minorities across the world.

All is revealed:

Jan 12 11 - 5:26am

You know what I blame for violence? Neckties. Neckties, if tied tight enough block blood flow to the brain. Bad things happen when people wear neckties, especially weird looking spotted neckties. Neckties similar to the necktie that Mr. Frum is pictured wearing. Be very careful citizens, Mr. Frum may start killing people as well, all becuase of his necktie.

Jan 12 11 - 5:29am

The only victims of a pot-induced rampage are snacks like cheetos. What's next, a report that he broke his mother's back when he stepped on a crack. Or the time he dared a kid to drink soda and eat pop rocks, causing the kid to explode. I heard that time, he just watched and made a face at him, which stuck permanently.

Jan 12 11 - 5:34am

What an idiotic comment at the end of this article. You realize the only way that doesn't sound idiotic is if you're effectively wishing for guns to never have been invented, right?

Because, well, they have. And passing more restrictive laws? You think that's going to help? Look at the law on marijuana and recall that he as alleged a frequent pot smoker, then look at all your friends that ARE frequent pot smokers (I know several of mine are, and I don't run in 'those kinds' of circles, either, the shit is mainstream now and has been for a while) and think about just how EASY it is to get marijuana in this day and age, despite decade upon decade and over a trillion dollars of drug war expenditure.

Then try to apply that same stellar contraband-fighting record to firearms.

Idiot. Wish into one hand and piss into the other and see which fills up faster. Meanwhile, I'll be wearing gloves.

Jan 12 11 - 5:50am
John S

If he is going to leap from one subject to another then I notice how he doesn't mention a thing about how unregulated alcohol is - alcohol of course being a know and scientifically proven drug which causes mood swings and irrational thought. Marijuana on the other hand is known and scientifically proven to give you the munchies and feel relaxed and calm. It seems to me that if everyones weekend pastime was to smoke pot instead of get drunk then there would be a lot less violent crime in the world. Note: I don't drink and I don't smoke and even I, a complete outsider, can see how idiotic this guys statements are in support of idiotic laws.

Jan 12 11 - 6:18am

Lancet. 1987 Dec 26;2(8574):1483-6.
Cannabis and schizophrenia. A longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts.

Andréasson S, Allebeck P, Engström A, Rydberg U.

Karolinska Institutet, Department of Social Medicine, Huddinge, Sweden.

The association between level of cannabis consumption and development of schizophrenia during a 15-year follow-up was studied in a cohort of 45,570 Swedish conscripts. The relative risk for schizophrenia among high consumers of cannabis (use on more than fifty occasions) was 6.0 (95% confidence interval 4.0-8.9) compared with non-users. Persistence of the association after allowance for other psychiatric illness and social background indicated that cannabis is an independent risk factor for schizophrenia.

Jan 12 11 - 7:01am

Due to the extremely limited understanding of schizophrenia onset, It's fundamentally unprovable at this time that smoking pot causes or contributes to schizophrenia. I'll admit -- about as equally unprovable as the other side of this theory's coin, which is that those developing schizophrenia are more likely to self-medicate with cannabis than non-schizophrenics. There may be a correlation, but is it the chicken or the egg that is the causation? Until much more is learned about the brain, this is an interesting avenue for exploration, but a complete non-argument when it comes to mental health and social justice policy.

Jan 12 11 - 7:20am

Heavy pot smoking under age 18 causes the the rate of schizophrenia to TRIPLE.
The studies posted above and hundreds of other journal peer reviewed medical studies show this.

But the pot industry and the pot legalization movement is huge and profitable and growing and is trying to cover up and ridicule this information up exactly like big tobacco did by denying for decades that cigarettes caused lung cancer.

Jan 09 12 - 11:58am

bullshit did you get that from paid propaganda

Jan 12 11 - 7:24am

Dear lord, you republicans really know how to turn things upside down, don't you?

Jan 12 11 - 7:34am
Stephen ford

What a Fu$&@n; loser I mean come on. We can't help it that he always got ripped off on every bag he tried to buy as a kid and now he's hatin... He's just mad that people can finally get high legally and his job Proably won't allow him to smoke...... Fag Bahahaha

Jan 12 11 - 7:39am
pol pot

Does anyone really disagree that heavy pot smoking is bad for children's developing brains ?
Do even the pro-legalization activists claim massive amounts of pot would not be harmful for kids ?

That is what these medical studies linking adolescent pot use to adult schizophrenia are talking about.
Little kids, young teenagers, using a powerful hallucinogenic on a daily basis for prolonged periods

I do not find it difficult to buy the idea that some small percentage of these kids who spent their whole childhoods wasted out of their minds eventually as a result flip out as adults and go bonkers and some even end up hurting other people.

Jul 16 11 - 4:24pm
Khmer Rouge

Well, it didn't fucking harm me, you son of a bitch! Now shaddup or I'm gonna come over there and drill you right between the eyes!

Jan 12 11 - 7:40am
Stephen ford

What a Fu$&@"g loser... He's just mad that he got ripped off on every bag he tried to buy as a kid..... And because people can get high legally and his job Proably won't allow him to smoke Fag Bahahaha

Jan 12 11 - 8:29am

Of course it was pot that made him do it. And of course it was guns that made him do it. God forbid either David Frum or Ray Rahman could actually assign any responsibiliy to Jared Lee Loughner for making the decision on his own, for whatever his own twisted reasons. Someone has to pay, and clearly that someone is the demographic you least identify with. Personally, I think preachy polarizing hypocrisy is the cause of this tragedy, and that both Frum and Rahman should be held accountable.

Jan 12 11 - 8:55am

Pol Pot, Jenny McCarthy is calling and she'd like her faulty logic back...

Jan 12 11 - 9:44am

How is this guy credible, he had Bush tspeaking at a 4th grade level and people trust what he thinks?

Jan 12 11 - 10:04am

Who are these people who think drug laws (and even gun laws) would have stopped this person from killing? As if someone would be willing to murder but draws the line at illegally obtaining guns and drugs??? If these people are in charge of our legislation, then God please help us!

Jan 12 11 - 10:31am

Favid frum is an obvious Guido. Organized Crime. get the idea. total scum

Jan 12 11 - 10:32am
P.F. Bruns

What is David Frum smoking?

Jan 12 11 - 10:39am

When you enter "Marijuana and Schizophrenia" at PubMed, you get 687 hits. Enter "Alcohol and Schizophrenia" and you get 2794 hits. So, pol pot, since research seems to turn up many more correlations involving alcohol shouldn't that be banned before demonizing marijuana?

Jan 12 11 - 10:50am

Uh, flawed logic. Even if drugs enhanced his paranoid delusions or yet unproven mental illness, should a drug addict have ready access to semi-automatic weapons? Should someone with "many encounters with the law" be able to run around with a glock purchased easily at a gun shop? Should that not raise one red flag at the check out counter?

Jan 12 11 - 11:11am

pol pot: I don't think anyone is saying that smoking pot is good for kids. Neither is drinking alcohol, which is why we have laws preventing kids from drinking. Where I live we have legal, medical marijuana, and kids can not buy it.

However, it is insane to suggest that pot is to blame for this. This person was clearly unstable, who was watching him? Where were his parents? Surely they must have noticed that something was wrong.

Drug use may not have helped his mental state, but I think this guy had much bigger problems.

Jan 12 11 - 11:14am

blame the atomic bomb...
after the first one, every terrorist has one!

Jan 12 11 - 11:18am
Jack Program

Wow, Bush actually had speechwriters? So is it this guy who told Bush that it looked intellegent to just make up new words on the spot???... Has everyone already forgoten Bush's speeches? Apparently you did if you think this idiot has anything intellegent to say. Well if he is going to blame marijuana, i'm going to blame popcorn... And Canadians.

Jan 12 11 - 11:32am
Ryan, culture, legalization. hope to see you guys on the forums and livechat

Jan 12 11 - 11:33am
Ryan knowledge, culture, legalization. hope to see you guys on the forums and livechat
the link was wrong above

Jan 12 11 - 11:33am
Ryan knowledge, culture, legalization. hope to see you guys on the forums and livechat

Jan 12 11 - 11:43am

what an idiot

Jan 12 11 - 11:54am

So basically he is admitting that even the most harsh form of regulation (a full criminal prohibition) will not prevent anyone from using it? You can sit there and think how great things would be if marijuana were to magically disappear one day, but the fact is that criminal prohibition doesn't really stop anyone from smoking it and that is the most restrictive form of regulation there is. Time to give it up.

Jan 12 11 - 12:17pm

A former Bush speechwriter or, in other words, a retard.

Jan 12 11 - 12:18pm

Guns and pot dont kill people, People kill people, That is all there is to it. Pot is not addicting and there for does not create one to kill another.

Jan 12 11 - 12:31pm

This is THE most asinine, purposeful misinterpretation of the events leading up to this shooting so far. (Though what else we should expect from a Bush admin. Spokes-liar, or why he's given even enough credibility to be heard in the public square, I don't know.)

This man was clearly mentally ill, and was doubtlessly self-medicating in an attempt to manage his condition, as his clear paranoia concerning authority (among other things) likely kept him from seeking traditional treatment. To say otherwise is not just mistaken, but a lie with an agenda, and should not be taken seriously. This man needs to finally be told that if he has nothing constructive to say, then he needs to STFD, and STFU.

Jan 12 11 - 12:58pm

Weed is not good for people prone to schizophrenia [or any mental instabilities].

Jan 12 11 - 1:02pm

if you aint puffing please be passin
funny how bush gets to snort lines and hit the reefer, but his own former writer will use the reefer as an excuse, we cant blame palin's graphic depiction of cross hairs over democratic districts but we can blame a simple little plant.

Jan 12 11 - 1:04pm
What a moron

So with his logic, there should thousands, if not millions of shootings everyday. Your ability to think critically takes a backseat to your ignorance.

Jan 12 11 - 1:06pm

Has Glenn Beck said what sister palin has to say about this yet?

Jan 12 11 - 1:22pm

Let the Propaganda begin!

Jan 12 11 - 1:27pm
voice of reason

thankfully in this day and age, its as easy as posting a comment below the story, to put this clueless individual in his place. The people have spoken.

Jan 12 11 - 1:31pm

Clearly he's mixing association with causation. It's garbage but he's entitled to his opinion. Oh yeah, I smoke, and have worked for a Fortune 50 for years... and I'm the most nonviolent person you'd ever meet.

Jan 12 11 - 1:39pm

custy a$$ fool...

Jan 12 11 - 1:56pm

So it seems that Reefer Madness is still alive and well.

Jan 12 11 - 1:59pm
The Realist

Another example of a screwed up US mindset. I am amazed that your country isn't something out of a Mad Max movie, well not yet anyway.

Jan 12 11 - 2:05pm

Lol marijuana doesn't make you violent. Silly misinformed people. :3

Jan 12 11 - 2:06pm
Mighty Mouth

According to his friend Bryce Tierney, it wasn't until he STOPPED smoking weed that he went off the deep end.

Jan 12 11 - 2:18pm

Oh no... not another liberal anti-gun story. Gimme a break. Let's get rid of guns, then next it will be knives. Myob libs crack me up. I blame the shooter, plain and simple. And maybe his father for not smacking the common sense into him

Jan 12 11 - 2:45pm

how stupid can one man get?

Jan 12 11 - 2:57pm

either he:

A) has never smoked majijuana
B) profits from businesses that oppose the legalization of marijuana

I'll pick B. Just a hunch.

Jan 12 11 - 2:57pm

Yeah, because if we took away all the guns in existence, we would be left with nothing else to kill each other with, amirite??? Oh wait....

Jan 12 11 - 3:39pm

I have yet to see anyone who can throw 31 knives in a few seconds. All those semi-automatic knife throwers running around committing massacres... RW logic is funny...

Jan 12 11 - 3:48pm

SURPRISE! If you have a mental illness, YOU SHOULDN'T BE DOING DRUGS!!! Don't fuck it up for the rest of us.

Jan 12 11 - 3:57pm
billy sunday


Jan 12 11 - 4:21pm

He's either stupid or he's liar. Reefer madness doesn't exist. Reefer gladness reigns supreme.

Jan 12 11 - 4:22pm

Did Bush REALLY have a script writter?
I always thought Bush needed two head to be as stupid as he was!

Jan 12 11 - 4:24pm
Tom Johnson

Right. Republicans continue to ignore research. -Prohibition has such a long history of effectiveness if Pot were illegal then J.L couldn't have had access.

Jan 12 11 - 4:32pm

David Frum is an asshole

Jan 12 11 - 4:32pm

We all know this guy was in his basement listening to Glen Beck while surfing Palin's twitter account and watching CSPAN. That's what did it to him not pot. Pot would've made him turn into a normal guy, of course.

Jan 12 11 - 5:08pm

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. It's amazing that people who go to ivy league schools and have our utmost respect toward running our country can be complete and total morons. I mean seriously. This guy. This. Guy. Retarded.

Jan 12 11 - 5:21pm
Malls Vasew

Using a horrible tragedy to push an agenda. God bless you, Frum.

Jan 12 11 - 5:42pm
t w

the only good that can come of this tragedy is that Sarah Palin disappears from public view, and with that in mind, I say..."it's all Palins fault". I'm hoping that catches on.

Jan 12 11 - 5:59pm

Very poor judgment for an individual clearly in the lime light to make such brash, purely opinionated, statements.
There was no need to bring marijuana into this debate of motives. Guess he forgot about the people that use it for medicinal reasons ie: me. I'd like to remind him the reasons a majority of people use marijuana for, in my case of point it helps me get rid of my stomach pains and help diminish my life altering anxiety. It all goes back to that saying "One bad apple ruins the bunch".

Jan 12 11 - 7:22pm

The man was crazy.

It is also crazy to insinuate that marijuana caused this tragedy.

Jan 12 11 - 7:32pm

Wow. Schizophrenics shouldn't own guns. I don't care what argument you have against gun regulation. Even though I'd like to legalize, I'm also gonna go with Schizophrenics shouldn't smoke weed either.

Jan 12 11 - 9:04pm

Yeah guns, of course. Neither of these were the problem. The fact is, in countries where gun and weapon control is normal practice, crime rates have been skyrocketing since inception. Take a look at the UK.

Jan 12 11 - 10:22pm

Mr. Frum, your mother is spinning in her grave.

Jan 13 11 - 1:46am

absolutely right....i agree 100 percent......relax you my

Jan 13 11 - 6:40am

Wow, the dutch probably have a lot of shootings with their lenient drug policy!

Jan 13 11 - 7:27am

The gun issue is a red herring. Yes, there should have been checks and so on, but the man was...wait for it...crazy. Semi automatic gun, automatic transmission in a dump truck, plastic jerry can with a rag, the boy was out to do damage, nothing would have stopped that. Would the casualties been less? Hard to say. But there were warning signs that were ignored, and it's once again the system that failed and no one seems to be addressing the system.

Jan 13 11 - 4:06pm
Common Sense

Of course, without guns there would not be any other way for pathological criminals to kill innocent people... Really Ray? Really? News article fail.

Jan 14 11 - 12:07pm

Honestly, how can an adult actually make these statements?

Jan 14 11 - 1:59pm
Juan Escobar

banning guns and the continuing of the prohibition of marijuana wouldn't have prevented anything. Many cases around the world where guns have been banned has seen a spike in gun violence, (see UK as the most prominent example). This wasn't a murder, this was an assassination gone awry.

Jan 14 11 - 4:20pm

I blame David Frum for the shooting, not guns, not reefer, it's entirely the fault of David Frum. I wonder how he likes those apples.

Jan 18 11 - 8:21pm

He's a dork and probably doesn't get laid much. Weed is wonderful... puff...puff...pass... :) PEACE.

Feb 15 11 - 7:04pm

yeah, the absence of guns would have made it much less shitty for everyone... and the absence of unhappiness would make it happier for's a concept for you kuntscab raham - now try to stay with me here, mmmkay? perhaps, maybe just maybe, NEITHER guns nor weed were to blame...(still with me? i knew you could...) maybe, just maybe JARED was to blame! hmm, whaddaya think, genius? or are you still quivering in your wee cotton socks from fear of inanimate objects?

Feb 15 11 - 7:07pm

"kuntscab rahman" i mean... whatever an asshole is an asshole no matter how you spell say "potato", i say "potato"...