“Wayne Hall is an Australian professor and drug abuse researcher at the University of Queensland. So why has no mainstream Australian media outlet yet reported his new 20 year longitudinal study confirming the serious harms of smoking marijuana?” FamilyVoice Australia research officer Ros Phillips asked today.
“If cannabis (marijuana) is not addictive, then neither is heroin or alcohol,” Professor Hall said.
His new study, widely reported in the UK and US, has found:
- One in six teenagers who regularly smoke the drug becomes dependent on it.
- One in ten adults who regularly smoke the drug becomes dependent on it, and those who use it are more likely to go on to use harder drugs.
- Cannabis users do worse at school. Heavy use in adolescence appears to impair intellectual development.
- Cannabis doubles the risk of developing psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.
- Driving after smoking cannabis doubles the risk of a car crash, a risk which increases substantially if the driver has also consumed alcohol.
- Cannabis use increases the risk of heart attacks.
Professor Hall’s study should be read carefully by Australian MPs who are currently being bombarded by campaigners for the legalisation of so-called “medicinal marijuana”, including smoked plant material.
“Any move to legalise marijuana for ‘medicinal’ use sends a message to Australian teens that marijuana is healthy and safe,” Ros Phillips said. “In reality, the opposite is true.”
- Government and society