Legalised cannabis: How free access could impact vulnerable Kiwis

Marijuana - super strongStuff co.nz 3 July 2017
Family First Comment: “University of Queensland Centre for Youth Substance Abuse professor Wayne Hall said legalising the drug would likely have the most significant impact on current users. Hall said if cannabis was made more affordable and easier to access then consumption would increase, like any commodity.”
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“The commonly held perception that cannabis was a harmless drug was wrong, said Massey University drug researcher Dr Chris Wilkins. “If you’re using high potency, using daily or if you’ve a history of mental illness or drug addiction it can have serious health problems bringing on mental illness or further addiction.”
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Legalising cannabis won’t necessarily make more people use the drug but it will mean that those who already do, will do so more often – at the cost of their health.

University of Queensland Centre for Youth Substance Abuse professor Wayne Hall said legalising the drug would likely have the most significant impact on current
users.

Hall said if cannabis was made more affordable and easier to access then consumption would increase, like any commodity.

“The people who already enjoy using it when it’s illegal will use more heavily and more frequently when it’s cheaper and decriminalised.”

Those who used cannabis frequently (more than once a week) were most likely to suffer effects to their health and wellbeing.

The commonly held perception that cannabis was a harmless drug was wrong, said Massey University drug researcher Dr Chris Wilkins.

“If you’re using high potency, using daily or if you’ve a history of mental illness or drug addiction it can have serious health problems bringing on mental illness or further addiction.

“More people might present with mental illness or addiction.”

The country’s mental health services would be hardest hit by cannabis legalisation because of increased demand for addiction treatment, Boden said.

“That would become problematic as the mental health services are already badly underfunded at the moment.

“Placing even a small additional strain on an already very, very stretched service would not be a good outcome.”

Effects on public health more generally would likely be negligible, he said.

“You wouldn’t see an increase to emergency department visits, because unlike alcohol there isn’t a lethal dose – but that’s not to say it’s harmless.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/93863693/legalised-cannabis-how-free-access-could-impact-vulnerable-kiwis

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