Australia already has lenient cannabis laws, where decriminalisation and cautions have been in place since the 80’s1. Australia also has one of the highest per capita cannabis usage rates in the world.2 Any further relaxation would exacerbate the situation and burden future generations with increased harm to mental and physical health.
There is no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder. In contrast, current evidence supports, at minimum, a strong association of cannabis use with the onset of psychiatric disorders. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to harm, given the effects of cannabis on neurological development.
Given the overwhelming evidence on the harms associated with cannabis, we conclude that governments and society should stand firmly against any change that would relax the law on the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
Drug addiction is a complex condition that can damage many lives, especially those close to the addicted person – their families, their friends, their children, their workmates … Drug addiction is preventable. It is also treatable. Jo Baxter, Executive Officer of Drug Free Australia discussed this important topic during a presentation at the recent Fresh Start Conference held in Perth.
New drug prevention website launched: Go to www.dontdecriminalize.org
Dr Gregory K Pike, Director, Adelaide Centre for Bioethics and Culture has produced an important paper discussing the debate surrounding drug law reforms.
With more governments considering the legalization of cannabis, a deeper understanding of the effects of cannabis is required. The paper Chronic Toxicology of Cannabis provides insight to the acute and chronic effects of cannabis.
Drug Free Australia's Position Statement Against Illicit Drug Legalisation, Regulation and Decriminalisation is supported by more than 205 affiliates and 150 individuals in 57 countries, for quick access to the web site of the affiliates that have logos please click on the 126 NGO's on the Logo page which shows the great strength of the World Wide Drug Prevention NGO's. This number is growing daily. We support a balanced and humane illicit drug policy that aims at primary prevention and recovery-based treatment and rehabilitation. This can never be achieved if illicit drugs are condoned through their legalisation. Legalisation equates to ‘regulation’ in the illicit drug context. There is a maxim that remains constant - 'availability, accessibility and permissibility will increase consumption’ The Position Statement is available here Browse the growing list of supporters and NGOs supporting this Position Statement.
By: Loke Kok Fai
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Masagos Zulkifli urges participants at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Forum Against Drugs to work with their governments to "put across a clear and unequivocal position" at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem.
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