Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

Alex Berenson. Simon & Schuster, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-9821-0366-8
A novelist and former New York Times reporter, Berenson (The Deceivers) brings strong persuasive skills, acknowledgment his cause may be lost, and frustrated desperation to this antimarijuana manifesto. Berenson compiles the strongest research he can find, including repurposed analysis of studies focused on related topics, international studies, sensational true-crime narratives, government data, and discussions with primary researchers, to make the case that marijuana is dangerous to the brain and associated with increased risks of developing schizophrenia or experiencing psychotic episodes. He argues that presentations of marijuana as a powerful medicine is misleading—only the CBD component has been FDA approved as a seizure treatment and the evidence for effective use beyond mild pain relief is weak—and sees the emphasis on medical use as paving the way for a business-centered legalization model in which high-THC products are king. Berenson also pushes back on the idea of legalization as a panacea for the opiate crisis or drug-linked crime, but primarily he aims to refute a widespread image of marijuana as an enjoyable, mellow, and harmless mild intoxicant. Those who favor legalization are likely to remain unmoved, but Berenson is certainly meticulous and coherent about making his case, and his well-written treatise never descends into Reefer Madness–like hysteria. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2018
Release date: 01/08/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 272 pages - 978-1-5082-8237-2
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-6041-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-8239-6
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