So marijuana is harmless and doesn’t kill people? Consider the case of black Muslim teenager Hamza Warsame, who took a toke and plunged to his death. His friends from the hood blamed it on a non-existent white man who allegedly pushed the kid to his death.
The headline in last December’s New York Times story was certainly ominous: “Assertions of Hate Crime in Seattle After a Somali-American Teenager Falls to His Death.” The paper said, “The death of the boy, Hamza Warsame, has prompted outrage among members of the Muslim community here, amid assertions—it is not clear from whom—that he was beaten and pushed to his death by a white man.”
Notice how a “white man” was blamed, despite the complete lack of evidence. Where did the allegations come from? The Times seemed not to know.
We now know that the black Muslim teen, a student at Seattle Central College, died from a fall after smoking dope for the first time. In fact, “relatively high levels” of tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive constituent in marijuana, were found in Warsame’s system, The Seattle Times reported. It said that after smoking the legal dope on a smoking device called a bong, the teen “started talking in agitation about his religion and how he might have put himself in bad standing,” and then said he “needed air.” The Muslim youth “opened the door and was off the balcony before his schoolmate could react,” a report found.
“Hamza Warsame became frantic in the immediate aftermath of smoking marijuana for the first time and fell to his death while likely attempting to jump from the balcony of one apartment to an adjacent building…” the local Fox TV affiliate reported, citing the results of a police probe.
It is not unusual for marijuana to incite mental illness in those who use it. In Colorado, where dope is also legal, husband and father Richard Kirk began hallucinating after eating marijuana candy, and shot and killed his wife. A lawsuit on behalf of her three sons says the marijuana industry packaged and sold a product that produced hallucinations and other psychotic behaviors but did not tell consumers about the potential dangers.
In Seattle, left-wing community organizers in Seattle immediately blamed Islamophobia for the death of the black Muslim teen.
Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant had written, “Some reports suggest he was beaten and thrown from the building in an Islamophobic attack by a fellow student.” The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called the death “suspicious.” A protest against Islamophobia was held on December 9, 2015, at Seattle Central College over Warsame’s “unexplained” death. Picket signs included “Justice For Hamza,” “Black Lives Matter” and “Unite and Fight Islamophobia.” One photo showed a “F— the Police” sign being held by some Muslim demonstrators.
The death was also an opportunity to attack capitalism.
In the same statement suggesting the Muslim teen was murdered, Councilmember Sawant, an open socialist, put the case in the context of the oppressive capitalist system. “We are struggling for democratic socialist change, where the working people have the control, not the corporations, and where we can finally end the exploitation and oppression that drives Islamophobia, racism, and sexism within our communities,” she said.
She is described as a one-time economics instructor at Seattle Central College who had moved to Seattle in 2006 with her husband, a Microsoft engineer.
Despite the obvious problems with legal marijuana, Sawant and her comrades on the city council are now considering making Seattle the first city in the U.S. with a “safe-consumption site,” allowing people to use illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine.
The group behind the proposal is the so-called People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, which is dedicated to “protecting the human rights of Washington State drug users” and favors distributing free meth and crack pipes to addicts.
The Muslim teen isn’t the only reported death from marijuana in Washington State. A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized the drug in 2012.
Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said, “The significant increase in fatal crashes involving marijuana is alarming. Washington serves as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug.”
Murders and deaths associated with the legalization of dope in states like Washington and Colorado are the deliberate result of the Obama administration not enforcing federal drug laws. Obama was himself a member of the dope-smoking “choom gang” when he was in high school in Hawaii. Whether his heavy use of pot has had any lingering effects on his performance in office continues to generate controversy and debate.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].