“Those pushing to decriminalise cannabis need to face the facts: a soft approach leads to more drug abuse, not less,” FamilyVoice Tasmania state officer Jim Collins said today.
Mr Collins pointed out that non-medical access to marijuana, especially by teenagers, is a now significant problem in Colorado. This US state legalised marijuana use for medical purposes in 2000 and legalised it more generally this year. Legalising marijuana has led to a greater frequency of marijuana-taking at an earlier age, increased abuse and dependency, and more “conduct disorder” symptoms among adolescents.*
“We do not need to legalise marijuana to treat patients with illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Legal cannabis products are already available, such as Nabilone, Dronabinol, Nabiximols. They are pure, approved, and properly controlled,” Mr Collins said.
“Going soft on drugs would increase its availability and normalise drug-taking behaviour.
“It is neither wise nor compassionate to legalise a dangerous drug that could permanently damage the developing brains of Tasmanian young people!”
*Salomonsen-Sautel, S., Sakai, J., Thurstone, C., Corley, R. and Hopfer, C., “Medical Marijuana Use Among Adolescents in Substance Abuse Treatment”, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 51:7 (2012) p 694-702.
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