“Those whose minds are steeped in cannabis are capable of quite extraordinary criminality.”
Judge Anthony Niblett, 2005
Attacker Smoked Cannabis is an online catalogue of acts of suicide and psychotic violence committed by cannabis smokers. Originally created to support my parliamentary petition calling for an inquiry into the link between cannabis and violence, the site now exists as a riposte to those who believe, or claim, that cannabis is a ‘soft’ drug and miracle medicine that ought to be put on legal sale to eighteen-year-olds.
The name Attacker Smoked Cannabis is the crude formulation with which I began my online search for cases of cannabis smokers committing violence. Once one learns the characteristics of such violence – frenzied, savage, sustained, unprovoked, random – it becomes easy to spot. A young father violently killing his infant child? A victim stabbed ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred times? A son shooting dead his family, then calmly handing himself in to the police? Such crimes used to be rare in the UK and Ireland, if they happened at all. In 2019, there were more than two dozen before Easter.
My interest in cannabis as a social evil began in 2015 when I read The War We Never Fought: the British Establishment’s Surrender to Drugs, by the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, along with his many blog posts and columns on the link between cannabis and violence. I consider him the general in the war of words against Big Cannabis and myself a willing foot soldier. It is a war that may yet still be won.
Using the myth of ‘medical’ marijuana as a red herring, the smooth charlatans of Big Dope have, over the last fifty years, softened attitudes to marijuana so successfully in Britain that, until quite recently, legalisation appeared inevitable. I believe, though, that the conviction in February 2019 of 16-year-old Aaron Campbell for the rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail caused a shift in the cannabis zeitgeist, from a slow drift towards acceptance and legalisation, to the realisation that this powerful narcotic is extremely dangerous.
I’m Ross Grainger, founder and editor of ‘Attacker Smoked Cannabis’ and author of the book of the same name. Born and raised in Teesside, I lived in the USA during my adolescence. After graduating from the University of East Anglia with a degree in American literature with creative writing, I moved to Brussels to teach English as a foreign language and learn French. I now live in Suffolk, and work as a secondary school teacher in neighbouring Norfolk.