In terms of ideology, he expressed conservative ideas about limiting the role of government, but opposed the war in Iraq and favored open borders.
But rather than try and make silly ideological points by accusing Bedell of being either left or right, there is an urgent need for the blogosphere — and the major media — to address the question of how he became criminally psychotic and a patsy for conspiracy theories. The answer is marijuana, which alters the ability of the mind to comprehend reality but which is depicted by most of the media as safe and harmless.
This connection — between pot and mental illness — is a matter of the medical record but is conveniently being ignored in the many stories about this young man’s strange journey and tragic end.
The book, “Marijuana and Madness,” cites studies and evidence from around the world, some of it going back 40 years, linking the use of marijuana — supposedly a “soft” drug — to mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and psychosis. One of the latest studies finds that “Marijuana use at a young age significantly increased the risk of psychosis in young adulthood…”
The public laughs at the old propaganda films such as “Reefer Madness,” which depict marijuana smokers as crazed zombies. However, the Pentagon rampage was likely triggered by marijuana-induced psychosis. Bedell was not only a heavy marijuana user and had been busted for possession and growing the drug, but dedicated much of his life to glorifying the substance.
He had declared cannabis “to be one of the most useful plants known to humanity” and said that he looked forward to the day when “billions and billions of carefully cultivated, highly valuable cannabis plants [are] growing throughout the United States with complete security of property.” He said he envisioned “the use of cannabis as a monetary system.”
Bedell, 36, had a bachelor’s degree in science and was enrolled in graduate school. A professor called him helpful, hardworking and intelligent. At some point, however, he developed an addiction for marijuana and a psychosis that led to the Pentagon rampage. How many other intelligent young people with good backgrounds and a good future get exposed to marijuana and other drugs and throw it all away?
One can hope that the tragic story of John Patrick Bedell and his victims will cause our major media to review the dangerous implications of allowing more and more people access to the drug, on the spurious grounds that it is somehow medicinal, and start a much-needed examination of the billionaires and organizations pushing drug legalization in America.
Billionaire George Soros has been called “an extremely evil person” by Calvina Fay of the Drug Free America Foundation for putting millions of dollars into groups like the Drug Policy Alliance dedicated to legalization of pot and other drugs. Another billionaire, Peter Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance Company, has also put millions of dollars into the cause. Lewis, who was arrested in New Zealand and admitted to three charges of importing drugs after customs officers found two ounces of hashish and 1.7 ounces of marijuana in his luggage, is being honored with the “America’s Future Lifetime Leadership Award” at the June 8 awards gala of the “progressive” Campaign for America’s Future.
While he thought the U.S. Government had itself been taken over by a drug-trafficking cabal, Bedell was such a believer in marijuana that he tried to grow it out in the open, on the balcony of his apartment. He wrote, “I deliberately did not seek permission of any kind, and did not obtain a doctor’s recommendation for the use of cannabis, which would have made my garden relatively acceptable under California state law.”
Not surprisingly, Bedell was busted by the police, adding fuel to his anti-government mentality.
He believed conspiracies, such as an alleged plot to cover-up government involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “This organization,” referring to the alleged conspiracy pulling the strings behind the U.S. Government, “like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens, in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control,” he said.
He apparently targeted the Pentagon because of his belief that military officials had covered up the alleged murder of a Marine Colonel with knowledge of drug trafficking.
Although drug legalization has been mostly a left-wing cause, funded by “progressive” billionaires such as George Soros and Peter Lewis, the libertarian Cato Institute has been promoting legalization of dope for many years. It, too, has been funded by Soros.
“I smoke marijuana, and I like it,” declared Cato research fellow Will Wilkinson in a controversial and eye-opening column. He added that “the casual pleasure marijuana has delivered is orders of magnitude greater than the pain it has assuaged, and pleasure matters too. That’s probably why Barack Obama smoked up the second and third times: because he liked it.”
John Patrick Bedell liked it too; in fact, he was a marijuana addict. But he inflicted a lot of pain on other people, including the two guards he shot at the Pentagon.
The pain has also been evident in other cases, such as admitted pot lover 16-year-old Jeff Weise, who murdered nine people and injured five others in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, and Charles “Andy” Williams, a regular marijuana user who smoked the drug just before killing two schoolmates and wounding 13 others in a San Diego suburban school on March 5, 2001.
These dangers are rising because of the growing number of people with access to marijuana on so-called medical grounds. However, “medical marijuana” has been shown to be a fraud and a cruel hoax, as those on the inside of the pro-pot movement have been caught on film admitting that getting the public to accept the notion that smoking marijuana alleviates health problems is a scam designed to promote the eventual legalization of dope.
Bedell’s psychiatrist is quoted as saying that he used marijuana to “self-medicate,” which sounds ridiculous until you realize that thousands of people with real and imaginary medical conditions, including mental illness, are currently “self-medicating” by getting “medical marijuana” at marijuana “dispensaries” in California and other states.
I visited one of these places in Oakland, California, operating under the name of the “Blue Sky Coffeeshop,” and saw lines of people flashing “medical marijuana” cards to get their marijuana in brown paper sacks. I took a tour of Oaksterdam University, also known as “America’s First Cannabis College,” which teaches people how to grow high-quality dope. Oaksterdam had a big cardboard cut-out of the pot movement’s hero, Barack Obama, in the lobby.
Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee is proposing a November ballot measure to legalize marijuana statewide and dramatically expand access to the drug.
The Bedell case demonstrates that people who have been led to believe that marijuana can alleviate their physical or mental problems may be coming come down with far more serious psychological problems that can threaten the lives of the rest of us.
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Lamar Smith has said that “By allowing marijuana dispensaries to operate free from fear of prosecution, the Administration is promoting the use, and therefore the demand for marijuana. Marijuana fields operated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations are most prevalent in California, Oregon and Washington — three of the 13 states that allow the use of medicinal marijuana.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that “no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use. There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.”
Ironically, on the same day that Bedell attacked the Pentagon, the popular left-wing website AlterNet ran a column by Paul Armentano insisting that the mainstream media “are running wild with the absurd notion that marijuana use causes psychological problems” such as schizophrenia and psychosis. It turns out that Armentano is the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer. The book has been endorsed by such figures as David Boaz of the libertarian Cato Institute and “progressive” writer Barbara Ehrenreich.
Rather than publicize the marijuana-psychosis connection, the major media have shied away from it, probably because some journalists use pot themselves as a “recreational” drug.
A 1,300-word article in the Washington Post on Sunday, “Pentagon shooter’s spiral from early promise to madness,” waited until the 21st paragraph to note that Bedell “smoked marijuana frequently” and that a family member pleaded with him to stop because “it was making his thinking more disordered.”
A week before Bedell went on his shooting rampage at the Pentagon, parent drug-prevention volunteers from California, Oregon, Maryland, and Virginia met in Washington, D.C. with the office of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. They told the Attorney General’s staff that statements from some officials of the Obama Administration appeared to support the claims of drug users and traffickers that smoking marijuana “could legally be approved by State law.”
Joyce Nalepka, president of Drug Free Kids: America’s Challenge (DFK) and former president of Nancy Reagan’s National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, appealed for help from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the widening massive campaign by professional drug legalization lobbyists, drug users and drug traffickers to legalize “medical marijuana.”
Other members of the anti-drug coalition meeting with DOJ officials were Shirley Morgan, Oregon parent drug prevention founder of the Mt. Hood Coalition Against Drug Crime; Roger Morgan, Chairman, Coalition For A Drug-Free California; and DeForest Rathbone, chairman of National Institute of Citizen Anti-drug Policy.
In a news release, they said, “Widespread publicity falsely portraying marijuana as a medicine convinces kids that pot is harmless thus leading to increasing teen drug use…” They cited a study showing that teenagers are smoking tobacco less and marijuana more.
They said pro-drug messages are coming from the efforts of “convicted billionaire international finance swindler and drug-legalization advocate George Soros,” who “has provided significant financial support for professional drug legalization lobbyists and for their elaborate public relations campaigns to obtain state referendums approving ‘medical marijuana.’”
The problem, they noted, is that “Soros and the professional drug legalization lobbyists also provided substantial financial support for the Obama presidential campaign,” and that Obama himself had said that it was entirely “entirely appropriate” for “medical marijuana” to be prescribed in some cases.
The anti-drug activists noted that Obama officials have followed up with more statements that have given the public the impression that using marijuana will not be punished by federal law enforcement authorities. They point to the following:
Shortly after assuming office, President Obama’s spokesman Nick Shapiro said that “The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws (authorizing medical marijuana.)”
In a statement on February 25, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “What the president said during the campaign ... will be consistent with what we will be doing here in law enforcement. What (Obama) said during the campaign ... is now American policy.”
A drug legalization lobbyist responding to the above statement bragged, “Holder’s statement marks a dramatic shift in U.S. drug policy...”
Such statements, the anti-drug activists said, have “caused a widespread perception among parents that drug money campaign contributions may have bought for the drug traffickers and drug users a de facto license to sell and use marijuana under the fraudulent claim that it is medicine.”
To refute that perception, they called on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to “immediately and forcefully reaffirm federal primacy of drug laws and authorize a massive counteroffensive against the illegal trafficking and use of marijuana in states where it has skyrocketed under their leadership.”
Both Maryland and D.C. are working to pass pro-drug legislation, with the Maryland legislature scheduled to hear a bill on March 18 in Annapolis.
Nalepka noted that, during the meeting with senior Department of Justice staff, the group of anti-drug activists was told that the federal government did not have the resources to go after the problem of “medical marijuana.”
Nalepka countered, “That’s why we’re here — we want the government to get the resources. It is well-known that marijuana is both physically and psychologically addictive and is a definite stepping stone to many drugs.”
She concluded, “Allowing this to continue is treason, i.e., a betrayal of trust, against our own children and grandchildren.”