Weed makes you relaxed, right? At least that's how your friend's cool dad made it seem.
For those who think the world’s most popular illicit drug is a pacifying one, I extend this piece of knowledge.
The word “assassin” originates from the term “hashishin” which, in Arabic, means “hashish-user.” This associative term came about in the 19th century, when a group who performed organized murders for political gain were known to get blazed before they killed.
If etymology from 1800's Lebanon isn’t proof enough, here is a more modern assemble of violent users of weed in its many forms.
1. Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat aka Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
The Salafist group for P&C, an Algeria-based jihadist entity which recently made ties to Al-Qaeda, is responsible for a large market share of north Africa’s multi-billion dollar hashish and resin export business. This group also is known to transport cocaine, now that the Western coast of Africa has become a centralized hub for trafficking to Europe. In the past 10 years, the AQIM has claimed responsibility for over a dozen highly publicized acts of violence, including the kidnapping of Western tourists, and firefights that have taken the lives of citizens and police officers alike.
Although hashish is the drug of choice in the non-drinking Muslim world, whether or not AQIM gets high on their own supply as an organization is unclear. Apparently, the moral compass of Al-Qaeda is polarized by cannabis; Islamist luminaries argue that the ends do not justify the means.
For the record, the Holy Qu’ran never explicitly forbids the drug, but in Islam, weed is a clear example of a ‘haram’ or an intoxicant, and therefore should be considered unacceptable. However, a few contrary lifestyle choices never deterred any known terrorist. This is especially true in the case of…
2. Dzokhar Tsarnaev
Much ink has been spilt over Tsarnaev’s propensity to party, date, and casually smoke and sell weed to UMass-Dartmouth students. The 19-year-old accused and confessed terrorist’s former status as a user and a ‘pusher,’ is only bolstered by his notoriously normal Twitter feed. I personally found @jahar's violent inclination quite evident, even in the weedy entries such as "-you don't care that I smoke, right? -man, I wouldn't care if you shot yourself in the head ^friendship."
If that tweet doesn’t bridge the gap between stoner and terrorist, no tweet will.
3. North Korea's Army
The world’s largest land army is also the world’s only army that openly uses marijuana. Within the borders of the Hermit Kingdom, the cannabis plant grows wildly, and is formally called “Leaf Tobacco” in the native language. Apparently, the homegrown product is considered a non-addictive alternative to methamphetamine, which is not only in epidemic level usages around the starving nation, but is even produced in government-sanctioned factories. Whether the troops are smoking from a joint or a stem, they are the most contentious national guards in modern society. Among other ridiculous rules, soldiers are taught to shoot on sight if they see foreigners without their state-sanctioned guides or if they see anyone with a Christian Bible.