You know, just when I think that maybe people will soon be open to a medicinal cannabis debate in Australia, some ignorant, publicity seeking politician comes along and shows us just how uneducated some people are in terms of the 'dreaded weed'.
In the state of Victoria (in Australia), the government has decided to continue to allow the sale of bongs in shops. Much to the disgust of the opposition leader, Ted Baillieu. Or, in his words:
"As long as John Brumby (ED: The Premier of Victoria) allows bongs to be sold freely at more than 100 outlets across the state, Victoria's young people and families will continue to suffer from the damaging effects of cannabis."
"Cannabis is a dangerous drug which causes serious mental and physical damage to many Victorians every year,"
The Honorable Mr Baillieu, can you define 'many'? Is it two? Is it 10? Is it hundreds? As far as I am aware, the latest studies from New Zealand and Australia suggest that a defective gene that cannot control dopamine flow when affected by THC cannabinoids is the cause of the rare occurrence of psychotic episodes in cannabis smokers. In fact,only 2% of the population is believed to have this defective gene. Of that 2% of the population, statistics tell us that only 20% of those will ever try pot, let alone become a chronic adolescent smoker. I say adolescent because scientists believe the gene is extremely susceptible during the brains growth stages, ie; adolescence and young adulthood.
Remember though that it is still theory, not proven science.
In an effort to ensure that everyone knew how ignorant he was on the subject of cannabis, he further said that
...research showed cannabis was a gateway drug into more dangerous illicit drugs, with most heroin and cocaine users first experimenting with cannabis.The Honorable Mr Baillieu, the theory of cannabis being a 'gateway drug' was disproved quite some time ago. The current consensus among researchers is that cannabis is a terminus drug. A 'terminus drug' is one with which people begin using or move on to but never move on to stronger drugs. In fact, they may even stop using other drugs such as alcohol and stay with the terminus drug.
Cannabis is one such drug. If my memory serves correctly, some 80% of people who have tried cannabis *never* move on to harder drugs. However, it can be assumed that users of harder drugs will use cannabis at some point.
The following pages may help you get clued up on the subject of cannabis Mr Baillieu:
Ten Cannabis Myths
For links to further studies in respect to cannabis, feel free to browse back through this blog. In particular, these posts:
A Doctors View on Medicinal Cannabis
Video Case Studies and Stories (1)
Video Case Studies and Stories (2)
Cannibinoids Fight MRSA Bugs
From the National Library of Medicine in the US, a study showing that moderate cannabis use may prevent some cancers:
Finally, Mr Baillieu. Next time you talk of the evils of drugs, please be specific. I have no argument on the negative effects of any drug when abused. I also agree that certain drugs can be detrimental to growing brains. I think most of the Australian population would be aware of these risks.
However, cannabis is a valid medicine and is recognized as such in other countries such as Canada and The United States. It is time for people such as you Mr Baillieu, to start looking at the facts and encourage further research into a natural drug that could become a valuable commercial pharmaceutical crop.