Australia: Doc Group Lobbies for Tougher Western Australia Marijuana Laws, Cites Mental Health Threat

The Australian Medical Association has called on the state government of Western Australia to introduce harsher marijuana laws. It warned of an increased risk of schizophrenia among pot smokers, citing a new review of international research on the links between marijuana and mental illness.

Western Australia has some of the most tolerant pot laws in the country. While the possession, use, or cultivation of any amount of marijuana remains illegal, under the state's 2004 Cannabis Control Act, adults possessing 30 grams or less or two or less non-hydroponically-grown plants can avoid a criminal conviction if they pay a fine or attend drug classes.

The Western Australia government has promised to toughen marijuana laws so that any adult who grew marijuana or possessed more than 15 grams of it would face criminal charges. But it has so far failed to introduced the legislation.

On Saturday, AMA president Dr. Rosanna Capolingua called on Western Australia Health Minister Jim McGinty to get moving. "The soft marijuana laws certainly do not help support the message that marijuana is not a soft drug," Dr. Capolingua told the newspaper The West. "Even though punitive measures are not always smiled upon as far as drug abuse goes, it really gets down to when do we start protecting people from substances such as marijuana and when do we need laws to protect people?"

Capolingua's tough stance puts her and the AMA at odds with its own official position on marijuana adopted two years ago. In its Position Statement -- Cannabis, 2006, the AMA had this to say about criminal penalties for drug use:

"It is often cited that criminal penalties will act as a deterrent to use. There is no evidence to support this. In A Public Health Perspective on Cannabis and Other Illegal Drugs, the Canadian Medical Association highlights the profound impact on health status associated with having a criminal record. The presence of a criminal record can severely limit employment prospects leading to poor health."

"Evidence indicates that strict drug laws in general encourage people to take more potent drugs and to consume them in unsafe ways. Prohibition also makes users less likely to seek treatment when they get into difficulty. 'Prohibition is the cause of a significant proportion of the health costs associated with illicit drug use and it hinders the achievement of the objective of harm minimization.' Research indicates that the introduction of liberal drug laws may result in a slight increase in temporary drug use but that it is unlikely to increase, and may even decrease, drug related health costs."

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the usual alcohol supremacist bullshit

Western Australia used to have world class draconian penalties for cannabis possession (30 years?). Looks like some of that spirit is still hanging around. The claim that cannabis use causes any increase in schizophrenia is very unproven. Even if true it wouldn't begin to compare with the damage to life and limb wrought by America's and Australia's drug of choice. It would be nice if the alcohol supremacists would explain why they think they can use such a dangerous drug as alcohol but other good folks can't use weed. They absolutely won't discuss the subject, maybe they know how hypocritical they are being.

In response to "the usual alcohol supremacist bullshit

Actually you're wrong...there is a very strong link between weed and mental illness. Now to be clear the link is not that it causes it, but if someone has a predisposition to mental illness..such as it runs in the family or they are already diagnosed than often it makes the illness worse.
Now to change laws for an entire country predicated on that is retarded. Simply educate people...if you're mentally ill than be warned...it's sad they can't enjoy it..but what can ya do.

Right Reverend Gregory Karl Davis's picture

Marijuana cures cancer

"Run from the Cure-the Rick Simpson Story" is available on the www.brothersformercy.org site along with a viewer on the treatment for ADD all with cannabis. We can soon look forward to a worldwide revulsion against "those people".

In Jesus Anointed (with marijuana) who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

GREAT FACTS

"Evidence indicates that strict drug laws in general encourage people to take more potent drugs and to consume them in unsafe ways. Prohibition also makes users less likely to seek treatment when they get into difficulty. 'Prohibition is the cause of a significant proportion of the health costs associated with illicit drug use and it hinders the achievement of the objective of harm minimization.' Research indicates that the introduction of liberal drug laws may result in a slight increase in temporary drug use but that it is unlikely to increase, and may even decrease, drug related health costs."

More Alcohol Supremicist BS

Alcohol, because of it's addictive nature, has been the drug of choice since way before Christ. Even though Cannabis and Opium and other psychoactive plants were used alcohol was first choice. That'a why it is more maligned in the bible, and rightfully so, more than any drug. Funny thing, Ghenghis Kahn died at age 33 (same as Christ) but of alcoholism not in battle. Today it is still the worlds drug of choice and forever, unfortunately, shall be. LEGALIZE CANNABIS NOW!!!

cannabis

cannabis overdose deaths 0 alcohol deaths overdose endless impaired driving deaths endless. cannabis prohibition go figure LEGALIZE IT.

Crooked AUSSIES!

They are constantly kissing on Bush's behind. They are trying to buy up our country piece by piece....you think they'd do something DECENT for once?!? Not on your life when they are wrangling to buy a piece of America for themselves....they would of course want the immoral laws that make our people criminals and disenfranchise them from the political system! Sheesh....a leopard doesn't change it's spots and aussies are the proof of it.

Changing drug laws

The present government, not state,spends $1.5million everday on the drug war and it does not work.

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