Crying Wolf

In Salon, Maia Szalavitz reports that the U.S. drug czar’s office has cooked up a new scare campaign, telling everyone that pot causes schizophrenia. See ads like this one. Of course, despite the fact that marijuana use has increased at a fairly, um, healthy clip since the 1930s, the percentage of schizophrenics in the general population has stayed constant. So, you know, the link might not actually be that solid. Anyway, this would all be very humorous except that it has real effects on the credibility of serious health warnings. Methamphetamines, for instance, actually can cause psychosis—but, of course, no one is going to listen to a government that’s already making hysterical claims about pot and mental illness.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.