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Investigative: High Stakes, Joint Ventures

13 applicants want to be Davis’ next commercial cannabis retailer. Who will stake their claim?

Drew Jensen

Delta of Venus Cafe

Sitting cozy at a coffee shop, drinking their beer, someone ponders the possibility of smoking a joint the following year, instead of sipping the drink they currently hold in their hand. Marijuana is taking over both our train of thought in California, and soon our local shops. Research about quality control is being done on campuses throughout the state, and more people charged with DUIs are now serving sentences because of marijuana than liquor, with a stint in jail lasting between 4 and 180 days in California. On a positive note though, home growers and connoisseurs are now turning hobbies into businesses. In some cases, all of these aspects are working together to create something far more complex than the initial venture.

In the case of Delta of Venus, a café on B Street just a few blocks from campus, some of its previous employees have split off from their jobs to create an establishment in Davis and outward in Yolo County known as The People’s Kush, which is already a running cannabis delivery operation. They are currently working on teaming up with their old employer, Delta of Venus, to use the back of its property as a tangible dispensary outlet. No longer will booze be sold at this spot. Instead, a space will be allotted for cannabis sales and consumption would be allowed on the patio of the café. As a result of the AUMA, or the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, and licensing by the state of Davis, Delta of Venus Café has a chance to do just this and earn their own license as a cannabis retailer. City Hall will hold the second set of presentations by each business and the City of Davis as a whole will vote for which locations they prefer.

The People’s Kush has promoted through business cards and labeled lighters at Delta of Venus for some time, and this would be a big step forward in their plans for the future. They pride themselves in quality control, stating “we believe in clear, consistent labeling so that consumers can understand the anticipated strength and effects of a dosage.”

Lori Ajax, the head of the state’s Cannabis Control Bureau, said “California’s 2018 testing requirements are some of the strictest in the U.S. At the minimum, marijuana businesses will have mandatory microbiological screenings, foreign matter inspections, residual solvent tests, and pesticide, chemical, and metal screenings.”

According to a resident, Conner Berken, who lives on B Street directly adjacent to Delta of Venus, cannabis is “easier [to buy since legalization] in the sense that I can now go whenever the store is open and am no longer reliant on someone’s else’s schedule to deliver it to me or when I can pick it up. It has got more expensive but also cheaper as well because there are more options [despite the] taxes.”

 Regarding the taxes, Berken relays his forgiving opinion that the “government needs a profit so taxes are okay. It’s a sin’ tax like cigarettes and gas.”

When asked about whether he would choose a store, such as the possibility of a dispensary next door at Delta of Venus, or a car delivery service, Berken states, “If I lived in a town where stores were an option I would choose a store because I can visually see and smell the product before I buy it, whereas with a delivery I’m limited to relying on pictures and text descriptions.”

The People’s Kush currently nets $20,000 in sales every month. Berken, however, does a light amount of growing on his own, as do many people in California. He explains, “I grow my own but am limited on the number of total plants as well as plants that are in flowering. [I prefer] clones sold in stores.”

Weed Wine

A fourth-year Viticulture & Enology major at UC Davis, Berken sees the business potential for the two substances — wine and cannabis — to intersect, similarly to how Delta of Venus and The People’s Kush desire to open what is defined as a ‘mixed use’ store, selling both coffee and cannabis, a stimulant and a depressant, respectively. Delta of Venus intends to remain a common ground for exhibiting art and providing nightly entertainment.

Delta of Venus plans to eventually offer coffee or foods infused with cannabis, but for now cannabis sales will replace alcohol sales at their store in a restricted section in the back. They plan to adopt an “Amsterdam type approach,” as the owner Lee Walthall says since in Amsterdam marijuana and coffee are commonly sold together. Walthall, hailing from Cyprus Avenue, Davis, is as local as they come in Davis and wants his coffee shop to be the next hub for marijuana in town. Construction will occur so that people can still order coffee, but a waiting room will have to be developed as well as two security entrances so that people can purchase their legal cannabis for recreational or medical use.

Berken elaborates, “Weed will now be competing agriculturally as far as land used with vineyards. But I think there are weird laws and regulations banning the two to be sold together?” Berken continues, “Or maybe, it’s just consumed together at the same event. Regardless once the laws chill a bit more I’d love to see weed food pairings with even normal wine as well. But infusing weed into wine is the dream and combining the right strain with variety and style of wine is crucial.”

The law may be “chilling” sooner than one might think.   

According to journalist Madison Margolin’s article, Legal Weed Wine Is Finally Coming to California in 2018 in Vine Pair magazine, she discusses how people have started speculating about, and looking deeper into the concept of ‘weed wine’, seeing that in places like Sonoma and the rest of the coastline and farmlands are home to much of wine country and cannabis farms people occupy.

For instance, Rebel Coast Winery has widened its outlook for 2018 and plans to release a weed-infused wine. While this wine will be non-alcoholic, it will taste like Sauvignon Blanc infused with the psychoactive THC component. This will eliminate the potential of ‘cross –fading’ — meaning, being drunk and high at the same time.  

The wine will be released not in vineyards, but in cannabis. The new Rebel Coast wine will feature 4 mgs of THC per glass, enough for a micro-dose producing a mild psychoactive effect. For those who are over 21, a bottle can be ordered online for $59.99 and delivered directly to customers— one more way cannabis is now being shipped and delivered, in addition to the home locations and dispensaries.

Growing In the Past

Each of these dispensaries, including places like Rebel Coast, get their marijuana from cultivators who live on farms everywhere from California to Colorado. For example, as The Washington Post pointed out in their article I Grow Pot in California for a living. I’m worried about legalization, many marijuana farmers with and without permits in California and elsewhere see the pros and cons of legalization in 2018. Of course, delivery — medical and recreational — has become automated and more seamless. But many sides to the story exists behind the farmers themselves, whether a person sits by themselves at home growing the legal ounce of weed permitted per person or whether a team of individuals collaborate together to run a farm.

According to Chiah Rodriguez, owner of a collective of small farms in Mendocino County called Mendocino Generations, he has upheld a legacy of marijuana cultivation, growing since 1976. Of course, back then everything was sold via the black market, so to speak. His relatives “learned never to speak of what [their] father did. We lived a simple life in times when only growing a few plants could sustain us”, said Rodriguez.

In the past, before legalization in January of 2018, oftentimes low flying helicopters searched for patches of marijuana fields, which led families of cannabis farmers to find solace in shade away from the eyes of drug prosecutors. The chance of going to jail from growing remained incredibly high, yet the reward and profit outweighed the risk for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez hid his crops around blackberry bushes and platforms within the trees. However, now he looks forward to hiding no longer in the shadows of California with the passing of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act on January 1st. In spite of this progress and optimism, Rodriguez still fears big businesses seeking only to capitalize on the trade will “wipe out small farmers like me.”

Like the alcohol prohibition did not keep citizens from distributing alcohol and imbibing, neither did the era of marijuana prohibition stop people from growing and consuming cannabis. Only now, one needs a permit and the government taxes small farmers like Rodriguez more heavily.

Although California will likely yield “$1 billion in tax revenue,” according to the Washington Post and tech billionaires who invest in the industry stands to profit highly, small farmers will lose some of their demand and importance. But as consumers, people should not overlook the legacy of those who paved the way before legalization and continued forward thinking protest against prohibition.

Before all of the venture capitalists and everyday growers of 2018, there were the freethinking baby boomer and ‘60s children who rebelled against control and invested in plots of land with which to grow the crop that will soon yield more cash than any other. Growers like Rodriguez are one of the many reasons we see cannabis in our dispensaries today, and the four dispensaries picked to open and be apart of Davis’ community will choose strains from different farms or their own farms with which to provide the plants that people will buy.

Other Applicants for Davis’ Four Available Dispensary Spots

In addition to Delta of Venus Café, some of the other applicants for Davis’ prime spot in a college town include River City Phoenix, who plans to plant down on 1100 West Chile’s Road, which proposes to “service both walk-in customers and express order customers.”

Timothy Schindler or Kind Farma put in an application for a spot in 1111 Richards Blvd, a convenient location next to Olive Dr. market, the gas station, RedRum Burger, Dutch Bros, Rocknasium, In n Out, as well as the I-80 freeway.

Supposing the site is established, Richards Blvd might become a hub and microcosm of all the activity, restaurants, and ongoing of Davis, but for now remains just a pit stop for freeway travelers before venturing into Downtown Davis. The construction and installment of the necessary amenities, including installation of foolproof safes and glass displays, will not likely bother neighbors as fewer people live around Richards Blvd. compared to Downtown.

Unlike some, Schindler is more in the business side of cannabis, as a business class member of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA). Fluent in multiple languages, he can “communicate and develop relationships with the diverse community of Yolo County.” He also promises or at least will try to save 5 percent of Kind Farma’s “gross medical sales and donate it to the City of Davis,” not including the taxes already taken out.

Manna Roots’ Tracy Dewit applied as well for a mixed-use permit. Interestingly, Dewit states that, “the smell of cannabis may be in the air, but professional grade carbon filters, odor neutralizes, and air purifiers shall be used to neutralize that air.”

In an architectural drawing of Manna Roots, as proposed, the building looks like a humble house, suitable for the farmer Dewit who has been cultivating plants legal or otherwise for the past ten-years with her high school sweetheart and has lived in Davis for upwards of 20-years. Another valuable asset of Manna Roots is that Dewit and her crew plan to mutually work on B2B (business to business) sales and development with other cannabis merchant partners.

In a note from her friend and Former Mayor of Davis (2011-2014), Joe Krovoza praises her efforts and work and importantly noted she will be “open and receptive to local sensitivities that must be considered as cannabis moves from its medical status in California to recreational use,” and he writes that “Tracy’s work with the local community to secure acceptance of her proposed location on D-streets demonstrates her consideration of local concerns.”

As a mom of a child on her way to University of Colorado in Boulder, “a perfect fit for my daughter’s outdoor life style and business interest,” Dewitt is obviously worried about how the legalization of marijuana might affect her daughter, in ways such as the “unwanted high.” Instead of avoiding the issue, she has taken the approach of informing herself on the trade, cultivation, and consumption of marijuana and started a business platform of her own to safely distribute, but not necessarily promote marijuana for all.

Funny enough, the mom and mind behind Manna Roots was distinctly aware of being in a small town and raising two other little boys in middle school, in addition to her daughter. People talk, and she recognized other moms might “defriend” her or not allow their sons over because she’s a “drug dealer.” Dewit comically just smiles at these comments and has made the best of making friends and not enemies in a community pushing towards cannabis reform, progression, research, and acceptance. She even hinted at a heavy topic, “I have come full circle on this arc [that] cannabis is a fantastic alternative to some pharmaceuticals and may assist the U.S. with recovering from the opioid epidemic that plagues so many, including a loved one of mine.” With regards to Lori Ajax, as before mentioned, Dewit replies, “I am very pleased with the job that [she] has done on MAURCS, but the hand of the written law can only reach far, [instead requiring] things to evolve around and involve social change.”

With Manna Roots, Dewit mainly wants to “bring cannabis use out of the dark and into the light as a safe and effective remedy for pain, as a social alternative to wine or beer, to be used responsibly and respectfully in moderation without fear of ridicule or stereotypes.”

Remedies and Abuse

Nowadays stopping by one of these dispensaries will be just as simple as going to the pharmacy, a walk in, evaluation of product, and quick transaction and walk away. The decision for many, however, lies in whether to go to the pharmacy or dispensary. Everyone has a certain vice or remedy and must learn what works for them. As Anna Fells of the New York Times put in her article “Can Nicotine Be Good for You”, she talks of a doctor who sees a patient who refrains from any psychoactive drugs but chews 40 pieces of nicotine’s gum per day, excessive for some, but “although doctors are trained to focus on prescription medications, there are and have always been nonprescription ‘remedies’ for psychiatric conditions. And,” Fells continues, “people’s preference for one type of substance over another can give a glimpse into their systems and even their brain chemistry.”

For example, Fells states, “if a patient tells me he falls asleep on cocaine, I wonder if he might have attention deficit disorder. A patient who smokes marijuana to calm down before important business meetings leads me in the direction of social phobia or other anxiety disorders [and people who take the anesthetic ketamine] might be depressed [since it works as an antidepressant]” and the list of both medicating and self medicating goes back and forth.

As far as granting medical marijuana cards and prescribing pharmaceuticals in recent years goes, the abuse of the prescription pill portion has skyrocketed with approximately 443,900 people dying this past year because of overdose of simple anxiety medication and sleep aids. “275,000 were due to some error […] 130,000 were caused by unintentional misuse, such as taking the drug more frequently than prescribed. Nearly 40,000 deaths were attributed to an adverse reaction to a drug that was properly prescribed and taken,” according to Bryan Hubbard.

However, with legalization of marijuana and more research going into the subject across UC campuses and other universities, and news from Dr. Frank D’Ambrosia, a spokesman for cannabis policy reform, people have revealed positive evidence that smoking should not only be legalized, but promoted in order to stop the pharmaceutical abuse problem in America. According to said studies by D’Ambrosia, with a daily dose of a gram of marijuana, 73.7% of people reduce the intake of possibly lethal pharmaceuticals.

More research will look into all of these substances, especially aiming at the schedule I drug of cannabis in 2018. As addressed by Campus Counsel of UC Davis, “Prop 64 did not contain provisions allocating funding for research regarding [its] implantation and effects [as] most possession, distribution, and cultivation […still remains or is done] illegally under federal law.”

On the flip side, with a DEA Schedule I license and proper “packaging and disposal” as well, research at UC Davis can and will be conducted. Research on animal test cases can be conducted to, supposing the researcher contacts either the Institutional Review Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The research must then be submitted to and approved by the Research Advisory Panel of California. In spite of the roadblocks, research remains important and will lead to insightful discoveries. Some research that can more easily be done, says Campus Counsel, are “human observational studies in which the research subjects use marijuana, but the researchers do not procure the marijuana,” as well “environmental impact studies, policy or legal studies looking at economic, social, political or other issues, and research involving parts of the plant excluded from the definition of marijuana by the CSA.”

However, this incoming and pending research begets another piece of inquiry. While pieces on how cannabis leads people away from abusing opioids informs some, it misleads others, as research tends to do. Some people are inclined towards prescription pills in such a way that a daily micro-dose of marijuana, and the right strain for them, might lead them away from the pills they exploited to self-medicate for entirely different problems, including cancer, depression, anxiety, and the sort. All of these, a pill cannot help in the long run, but instead the pill itself acts as a gateway to escape the present moment. In much the same way, a fallacy presents itself when your Uber driver turns to you in the car and says, “Oh, you have bipolar disorder. You should smoke some weed. It always helps me.”

Part of the brain wants to agree with this statement, based off of D’Ambrosia’s evidence of this curing so much else, or at least preventing people from escaping life’s pain with dangerous pills instead. But, for individuals with certain inclinations, this is the case of knowing the lesser of two evils. For people with Bipolar Disorder I (a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder I requires a previous bout of psychosis), taking prescription pills often alleviates mood instability and irrational thought patterns, or what others term psychotic thinking leading to a break of psychosis. And while prescriptions alleviate pain in their case, they are also more susceptible to forego their prescriptions in order to ‘mentally’ disconnect in other ways, some of the ways including smoking tobacco and the more psychoactive cannabis. In this case, marijuana actually acts in much the same way overdosing on pharmaceutical pills do for ordinary people, a drug that can exacerbate effects and lead to dangerous driving, risk taking behavior, and the full spectrum of euphoria to dysphoria and suicide.

Narrative: The Tale of Two Cities – Marijuana and Xanax

The Life of Trevor Gerard

The following is a collective cautionary story to depict the dangers of both benzodiazepines (more particularly Xanax) and psychoactive drugs (in this instance, cannabis). For some people, who neither mix pills with alcohol or who have brain chemistry which reacts well to marijuana, read no further. But some are better off with exercise and good nutrition, avoiding both all together unless they desire to go down a rabbit hole.

For Trevor Gerard, the journey through the tragic, often little discussed side of Xanax and marijuana all started in sophomore year at Davis High School, when he was diagnosed with severe participation and social anxiety, and prescribed Xanax in a minute dosage. All addictions start small, the first little hit, bump, pop. At this time, the rapper Lil Xan did not exist, social media did not promote ‘benzos’ as popular. But soon, like cigarettes in the 1960s, people would send out videos of themselves taking bars of Xanax as routinely as a hobby on Instagram with a simple click and record.

Gerard became absorbed in the culture before it surfaced major news coverage when influential rapper Lil Peep died of overdose (with traces of fentanyl) in late 2017. In junior year, he played up his anxiety and increased his dosage, showing up to class one day on “6 mg of Xanax and I was all messed up. But I faked being sick at the nurse’s office to go home.” When Gerard returned home, he “took more Xanax, drank,” and continued in a form of perpetual self medication and self destruction. He took 2 mg more, which accumulated 10 mg in his system. His “tolerance had been high” and he had yet to black out from all of it, but in a short time he made a decision, like so many other teens coping with substances across the world, which would delete all modes of rational thought and send him over the edge.

He drank “three shots of Jamison whiskey which is what messed it all up for me. Next thing I know I had not even stepped out on the street in front of my house, when the police arrested me.” From feint memory, it turns out he jumped into his neighbor’s yard before going out on the street and attempted to “break into his house, either due to paranoia of being at home or to rob something.” The neighbor had pulled a gun on him and called the cops, who proceeded to throw him most literally and forcefully into the cop car, lights fading and blurring as the car crept to the station, two strangers in the front. In what seemed like a moment’s time, he found himself in a detox cell “and I fell into a Xanax coma type thing.”

Waking up the next day in the cell, Gerard “was convinced I was in jail for just a few hours.” But a few hours for him was one of the biggest scares for his friends and family, as “everybody told me I was in detox for a whole day and never moved. I didn’t believe them till they served us breakfast in jail, then I realized I’ve been in jail for a day and nobody knew where I was.” Sadly, for many who black out only to find themselves in a jail cell or 51/50 hold at a mental hospital, the police department and faculty have trouble reaching immediate family for some time.

Gerard “was finally able to call my mom and get a lawyer on the second day of being locked up.” But his stay in the uncomfortable, jarring darkness of mere toilet and bed without any sheets to keep him warm had just begun, lasting another 3 days and nights. Although this might be a captivating story to tell close friends around a campfire and was able to get his “charges dropped from burglary to criminal trespassing and criminal mischief”, he warns others not to allow Xanax to “mess you over hard.”

Later that year, Gerard visited both his psychiatrist and went in for therapy, something he hesitantly agreed to on the recommendation of family members. After disclosing his entire story, the therapist and psychiatrist both agreed Xanax would obviously not be the best road to go down in the future.

With research coming from the Minnesota Department of Health and other sources about how marijuana intake can decrease people’s addictive tendencies to lean on and abuse opioids, the psychiatrist prescribed Gerard CBD oil, which he drank in tea. It soothed his nerves and helped with his depression. He began regarding marijuana as a cure all and stopped taking Xanax altogether. He smoked with his friends on the weekends and by himself in his room on weekdays, steadily increasing the amount.

Gerard and his girlfriend at the time were now eighteen and hanging out together at her place in Woodland. He smoked cigarettes with her mostly, but today she decided to purchase a new pipe from the local smoke shop for him.

They met up in the park nearby and smoked some marijuana his friend had given him, not knowing the vendor. In fact, his friend had picked it up off the street and the marijuana was most likely not completely pure, containing traces of anything as lethal as PCP in small amounts. Gerard and his girlfriend sat in his car when, before smoking, she said, “I met someone while you were away on your trip with your family. I’m breaking up with you, I’m sorry.” A silence followed when she said, “You should smoke, it will help you.”

They smoked and soon he opened up to her about how hard the last few years have been with his parents splitting up, his time in jail from the Xanax incident and coma, and about all the memories he had of her. Gerard, driving her back home, despite the fact that marijuana was currently illegal and proposition 64 has not yet been passed, dropped her off at her place and arrived safely back home, “driving better than I do when I’m sober.” Instead of absorbing the information about the break up, he ignored the negative feelings and emotions and smoked 2 bottles, or approximately 12 g of marijuana all in the night.

Having previously been diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder in addition to anxiety, he often used marijuana to cope with the effects of the medication he took for it, which included a mood stabilizer lithium and antipsychotic risperidone which he hasn’t been taking. Every time he smoked before all it would do is further stabilize his mood. This time however, whether due to the cannabis coming from a source that could not promise quality control or something else, he began having slight schizophrenic thoughts and both auditory and visual hallucinations.

Locked in his room, subconsciously sulking over the break up, he idly pulled up YouTube and distracted himself with cat videos, Planet Earth clips, music videos, and the sort. Nothing particularly unusual to note, until he pulled up another music video, with lyrics. “Subliminal messages seemed to override my mind, saying I was the devil, and then I pulled up other music videos I had watched before, where images showed up which had not been there before.”

For example, “I thought in a Blink 182 music video, I was being subliminally proposed to and marrying the love of my life,” Gerard explained. He spent the entire night listening to music he and his ex-girlfriend used to listen to, and was fully enraptured by everything in his little room. Gerard woke up in a sort of half sleep trance in the morning, not feeling like he fully went to sleep at all.

He planned to go over to Kira’s house and explain to her that they should stay together, but instead ended up “waking up” mid-drive from his “trancelike, half psychotic, cannabis and stress-induced” state to find himself driving his car. Terrified, irritable, and paranoid of all the drivers around him, he veered over to the right, presses hard on the gas pedal, and totaled his car at a road block. “Something switched,” he described “in his brain and I went into an overwhelming sober yet psychotic state and jumped into the back of my car.”

The police were on their way and soon he was handcuffed and place in a holding cell before being shuffled into jail for four days, for the second time. Yelling the whole time, he was in there, not eating, and barely sleeping, he was offered medication and a phone call, but refused both incoherently. Declared innocent with a plead of insanity, the judge and his parents were finally able to locate and put him in a mental hospital, where he remained for thirty days.

The cannabis cleared from his system and medication for Bipolar Disorder I brought him back to stability and he was released, having gained forty pounds in the mental hospital and a new perspective on drugs in general, both recreational and pharmaceutical.

Gerard was able to finish out high school and now goes to college at UC Davis in his freshman year. He stays away from most vices now besides the occasional cigarette, as even alcohol reminds him of the time he mixed it with Xanax and it sent him into a coma. In the end, he realized that a person must be careful when mixing two dangerous substances, and that any substance for a given person can be dangerous in time.

Ending Comments

The price some can pay for marijuana is incredible, and not the 50% taxes, in this case. According to a study by Julio Arboleda-Florez, “29% [of criminals and mental patients] had a diagnosis of ‘psychosis’ and 35% had a diagnosis of substance abuse [of which includes cannabis].” In summation, people are more likely to go to a prison and/or a mental hospital under psychosis. And of these people, 27% smoke marijuana, according to a report on cannabis-induced psychosis gathered by MDs Ruby S. Grewal and Tony P. George. In 2017 alone, upwards of 455,000 emergency room visits involved marijuana related incidents. Whether or not a person remains mentally susceptible to this tendency towards psychosis from smoking depends on their genetic make-up.

Like anything else in the market, it comes down to the individual, what works for every person’s specific brain. Everyone these days has a cocktail of drugs and it depends on their internal chemistry, not whichever chemical is currently being promoted. Also, the legalization of marijuana might eventually actually keep people out of jail and mental hospitals because of stricter enforcement of quality control. On the streets, an estimated 24% of marijuana samples contained PCP, according to Melanie Barker, a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s in Public Health. Referred to as angel dust, PCP is responsible for producing an extra hallucinogenic kick in an already psychoactive drug, cannabis, that drives some into behavior which would otherwise be classified as rapid cycling bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Dealers lace cannabis with PCP to unsuspecting clientele, which usually leads to a euphoric experience and heightened perception. The crash, however, oftentimes leads to drastic psychotic events.

The crash sometimes can be literal. As Mike Spies of Newsweek comments, some people have cases of such severe anxiety and paranoia after smoking particularly potent cannabis that they experience everything from as minor as fearing driving alone to manically thinking “colleagues are cannibals who plan” to eat them, in certain cases. Whether the original paranoia stems from past post traumatic stress or elsewhere remains to be seen, but for each individual who experiences the dysphoric side to marijuana, they might eventually be scared off from the drug for good. No matter how many people it has and will help, certain individuals do not have the chemistry suited to, or are not inclined towards, this particular strain of drug.

After all, marijuana, with all of its pain numbing and psychoactive remedies, also remains a depressant. For those who are clinically depressed, their parents might steer their children away from marijuana, as Mike Spies alludes to in his article Inside the Tortured Mind of Eddie Ray Routh, that Routh’s Parent’s already feared “he was going to kill him. Because that’s what he wanted.” In the war, he attested to being in charge of clearing “the land of corpses,” a horrifying and trauma inducing task. Marijuana can sometimes swing life upwards, but can also increase feelings of isolation, which further attributes to delusion, paranoia, and depression. Not all cases turn out as badly as the American Sniper Routh’s, but marijuana — while recreational and fun for most — is a schedule I drug for, in the cases of the few, good reason, according to Davis police as set by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

As it turns out, Routh had suffered from “a series of psychotic breaks” two years before he committed a crime, but was misdiagnosed. With better psychiatrists, therapists, and self awareness, people will further understand if this particular weed sits well with us and prevent devastating outcomes.