Friday, 29 August 2008

Support for clinical trials of cannabis

MOST Australians would support clinical trials of cannabis for medical use, a survey has found.

More than 23,000 people over the age of 12 were quizzed about their personal use and attitudes to drugs for the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The nationwide survey found 70 per cent supported legalising cannabis for medical reasons, while approval of clinical trials for cannabis approached 75 per cent.

On alcohol, 80 per cent of Australians also wanted tougher bans on drink driving, but there was far less support for tax hikes.

[If they'd have asked the question on alcohol, whether Australians also wanted warning lables? Then that would be the best answer.]

Respondents over the age of 14 were also asked about personal drug use. About 20 per cent of males and 15 per cent of females had used marijuana in the 12 months before the survey.

Almost 50 per cent of respondents said they would support regulated heroin injecting rooms.


Doctors to trial pain relief with cannabis

DOCTORS will prescribe cannabis-based drugs to cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS patients in a planned NSW Government trial.

Govt unveils cannabis research centre
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has launched a new cannabis research centre, saying young Australians are more likely to have used marijuana than tobacco.

Legalised cannabis and post offices

CANNABIS would be sold legally in post offices in packets that warn against its effects under a proposal outlined by the head of a Sydney drug and alcohol clinic.

The director of the alcohol and drug service at St Vincent's Hospital, Alex Wodak, said Australia needed to learn from the tobacco industry and the US Prohibition era in coming to terms with his belief that cannabis use would replace cigarette consumption over the next decade.

"The general principal is that it's not sustainable that we continue to give criminals and corrupt police a monopoly to sell a drug that is soon going to be consumed by more people than tobacco," he said.

"I don't want to see that [industry] fall into the hands of tobacco companies or rapacious businessmen.

"I'd like to see it fall into the hands of the failed business people Australia seems so good at producing or the Australia Post that seems so successful in driving away customers." He made the proposal for taxed and legalised cannabis at the Mardi Grass festival in Nimbin on Sunday, but said he would be happy to express his opinion to the Federal Government.

A spokesman for the Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon, said the proposal would not be considered. Experts in the fields of drug and law enforcement yesterday opposed the suggestion, saying there was insufficient evidence that legalisation would not increase harmful use or lead to other law enforcement issues.

"It's really going beyond the evidence to say regulatory control would effectively reduce adverse effects," said a deputy director of the National Drug Research Institute, Simon Lenton.

"We don't know what the effects would be." Dr Wodak believed his idea could reduce cannabis consumption, based on comparisons between consumption in Amsterdam and San Francisco. He said regulated availability would also reduce people's exposure to other illicit drugs when buying the product. His model would make cannabis advertising illegal, ban political donations from the cannabis industry, and demand proof of age on purchase. He chose Australia Post for distribution as it could be regulated and had branches across the country.

"What I'm talking about is not pro-cannabis … it's about reducing cannabis harm."

Question: What happens if some people are alergic to alcohol? Seems to me one drink is social and two can be lethal. Like migrain, vomiting, change mood, violence even death etc...then what, Thcorette? Some people take thc as a party herb to lighten up their life and take them away from the stark harshness of reality of being straight. The herb highly motivates some people and can be very creative. Some use it for painkiller, a bad toothacke, period pain, a hard life. Less than one per cent have been adversely effected by it, like they have pencilin or royal jelly. In other words people are affected by differnt substances like some are by taking alcohol or too much alcohol. Some people wear the hemp clothes. Herbs with multiple uses shouldn't be denied to the people of this planet some say it costs less to produce and has many industrial uses as well as medicinal.

Police arrest 21 at Nimbin's Mardi Grass
Police have arrested 21 people on the first day of the annual Mardi Grass festival in Nimbin in northern New South Wales. The three-day event in the town is billed as a cannabis law reform rally.

Australia's cocaine use up, smoking down
AUSTRALIANS are smoking fewer cigarettes and less cannabis but using more cocaine, a report shows. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare survey found that from 2004 to 2007, the proportion of people aged 14 and more who smoked daily fell from 17.4 to 16.6 per cent. Recent cannabis use dropped from just more than 11 per cent to just more than 9 per cent.

Message on a bottle for binge drinkers

BOTTLES of alcoholic drinks could soon carry graphic pictures warning of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption as part of the Federal Government's latest series of measures to cut down on under-age and binge drinking.

Alliance tackles drunken violence
THE TOLL of alcohol-related violence has reached the point where one in five Australians now say they have been directly affected or know someone who has been affected by this type of violence, a new survey shows.

Labels, not taxes the solution to drunks: lobby group
"If we could get large signboards on roadsides warning of the dangers, or failing that a minimum label on bottles and cans warning of the dangers, or both, so that we can try and make the alcoholic drinks that some people are choosing more explanatory, that will have more of an impact than any of the other measures that are being proposed for COAG," he said.

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