“New Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm has lost no time putting forward his party’s policies – summed up as ‘Do what you like as long as no one gets hurt’,” FamilyVoice Australia research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“His trouble is that he has forgotten the last part of that sentence – as long as no one gets hurt. His latest policy of legalising cannabis for open sale is a case in point – the harm done, particularly to Australian teens, would be enormous.
“Only today, the prestigious UK medical journal The Lancet has published a paper whose findings point to serious health and other risks from cannabis use.”
Researchers from the University of New South Wales, led by Professor Richard Mattick, found a range of negative outcomes from cannabis use, including serious depression.
They found that teens who smoked cannabis daily before the age of 17 were seven times more likely to attempt suicide. They were also eight times more likely to use other illicit drugs later in life.
“We don’t see these kinds of outcomes with alcohol … it appears to be specific to cannabis,” Prof Mattick said. His team’s research controlled for 53 other factors that may have led to the negative outcomes. All were ruled out.
Ros Phillips said she noticed today that Senator Leyonhjelm has now employed a famous author to help work on his policies.
“The senator certainly needs help in this area,” Ros Phillips said. “But a writer of fiction is not the kind of adviser I would recommend!”
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