I’ve introduced a bill which would allow fines to be waived for the personal cultivation and use of marijuana for people suffering designated medical conditions. This would be on the proviso that a medical practitioner has signed a palliative cannabis certificate, saying that the person is suffering from a specified illness or disease, the symptoms of which might be palliated by the smoking or consumption of cannabis or cannabis resin.
Each year in Australia there are approximately 19,000 deaths from the use of tobacco, 2,000 from alcohol and 1,000 for all other illicit drugs combined. Paracetamol kills 400 people per year, and even aspirin causes more deaths than cannabis. In fact, ABS figures do not show cannabis as causing any deaths.
There is not anywhere in the literature a causal link between cannabis and psychosis. Certainly, there is evidence that shows that some people who are psychotic have a tendency to self-medicate with cannabis and, of course, that is interesting in itself because there is an ingredient in cannabis called CBD that inhibits psychotic symptoms among schizophrenics. It may be, in fact, that they have cottoned on to that and are using it to effectively alleviate some of their symptoms.
“If cannabis causes psychosis in and of itself then one would expect that any increase in the rates of cannabis use would be associated with increased rates of psychosis. However, in some areas where cannabis use has clearly increased, e.g., Australia, there has not been a commensurate increase in the rate of psychotic disorders. Further, one might also expect that, if the age of initiation of cannabis use decreases, there should also be a decrease in the age of onset of psychotic disorders. We are unaware of such evidence.”
The war against marijuana is ideological; it is a matter of what substance fits with what set of values. In the West there is a view that nature is bad and synthesising is better. It is time for us to consider the use of medical marijuana as part of being a humane and compassionate society. If we know that a substance works by improving the health of people and we continue to deny access to it, particularly when so many people use it illegally without any bad effect, then there is something else driving the argument – and it is certainly not science.
Source: SA democrats