I rarely write or talk about religion for many reasons, but mostly because this is a cannabis website and religion rarely factors into the stories I cover. Sometimes there will be a story about an individual or group attempting to assert some sort of freedom of religion defense against cannabis charges, but for the most part, it simply never comes up.
While the story I’m talking about in this piece has heavily religious aspects, they are not the main focus of what I want to talk about. From The Washington Examiner:
A Muslim man killed a Jewish woman two years ago in Paris, shouting “Allah” and calling her a “demon.”
His preliminary ruling was not guilty — because he was stoned.
Kobili Traore, 29, beat Sarah Halimi and threw her off the roof of her apartment building after he smoked marijuana.
Now a French judge has ruled that Traore is not criminally responsible for Halimi’s death because of his marijuana use. More specifically, there are “plausible reasons” to believe Traore’s “discernment was abolished” at the time of the death because of cannabis.
I’m certainly no expert when it comes to the religious and political climate in France and what it had to do with this ruling. If marijuana was used as an excuse to affect some greater purpose, I’m not qualified to say.
What I am qualified to comment on are the effects of marijuana and the thinking processes of prohibitionists. Although it is rare, the “marijuana made me kill” defense is not unheard of. But these defenses usually involve the use of more potent edibles; the accounts of this case I have read all say Traore smoked marijuana before the incident.
In any event, stories like this invariably get picked up by those who support prohibition as proof of the danger of cannabis. After all, if marijuana can make someone lose control to the point where they aren’t responsible for killing another human being, it must be dangerous indeed.
This is why we must counter this narrative at every turn. Prohibitionists would love nothing more than to make people believe that marijuana use can lead to murder. As far-fetched as something like that sounds to most, there is a small part of the population that knows so little about cannabis that it may seem plausible.
In some parts of the country, that small part of the population could be large enough to delay real reform.