High Wire is Maia Szalavitz's reported opinion column on drugs and drug policy.

Stories about cannabis are like catnip, so it was only matter of time before someone with an aura of credibility decided to capitalize on the growing consensus in favor of legalization with an extreme contrarian perspective. And what could better troll the legalizers than arguing, in essence, that Reefer Madness is real—and pot really does cause insanity, murder, and mayhem?

Enter former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, whose new book Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence, attempts to do just that. Its main title is literally taken from the original name for that much-mocked 1936 film.