February 18, 2007

Public Education Program on Marijuana / Schizophrenia Link Working (in Australia)

A new report titled "Australian Attitudes Towards Cannabis" shows young Australians no longer considered cannabis / marijuana harmless and suggests that the government's drugs education campaign is working, an Australian government minister says.

The Australian National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre study suggests that marijuana has become socially unfashionable in the same way as cigarettes.

The drug once perceived as harmless is now overwhelming viewed as dangerous, addictive and linked to a range of serious health and social problems.

The survey found that although almost half of under 30-year olds have friends who use cannabis, one third said their peer group found its use unacceptable.

Of the 1,500 adult Australians surveyed, three in four felt that smoking dope was dangerous or very dangerous, and half thought it could trigger schizophrenia or anxiety disorders.

The new study comes after a survey of secondary schools last year showed a significant decline in the use of cannabis among secondary students.

The report also reveals public opinion is in favor of more action by governments on cannabis. Seventy seven percent of those surveyed believed that authorities should run a public health campaign about the effects of cannabis.

The introduction of roadside drug testing is strongly supported by close to 80 percent of those surveyed. Most felt that cannabis would affect a person’s ability to drive a car and increase the likelihood of a car accident.

The research found that 60 percent agree that people arrested for cannabis use and possession should be referred to treatment programs rather than be punished under the criminal justice system.

“It appears that although Australians believe cannabis is not acceptable in their peer group, they do feel that there should be support given to those who use it,” Paul Dillon commented.

“There are no black and white answers with cannabis, only shades of grey. These subtleties are often difficult to communicate and can lead to misinformation being disseminated and a polarisation of views.”

“This research clearly shows that it is important that the Australian public is provided good quality information on the health and social impacts of cannabis. There are plans for a new National Cannabis Centre to be opened this year, funded by the Australian Government, which will hopefully assist in this area.”

Read the full report: Issue #33 Australians & Cannabis - February 2007. (Go to web site and download document, from top left corner of screen)

Read the Press Release:
Australian Attitudes Towards Cannabis - Pfizer Health Report - February 19th, 2007 (PDF)

Additional Reading: Cannabis / Marijuana Linked to Significant Increases Schizophrenia Risk

Cannabis Abuse May Lead to Earlier Schizophrenia Onset, Worse Outcome


I highly doubt this. Very few people in my school see Marijuana as dangerous, nor socially unacceptable.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 12, 2007 02:03 AM

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