As the Legalise Cannabis party reportedly lodges Bills in NSW, Western Australia and Victoria to legalise cannabis for recreational use, the Taskforce for Drug Prevention, a coalition of drug prevention organisations, is calling them out for ignoring a very extensive science demonstrating that cannabis is causing irreparable damage to the health of those Australians who use it, whether used medicinally or recreationally.
Drug Free Australia has recently brought to the attention of Parliamentarians in all States and Territories of Australia that new and massive population studies (50 states of USA and 27 countries in Europe) published in medical journals in 2021 and 2022 have confirmed what was known by cannabis researchers decades ago – that cannabis literally shatters human chromosomes, causing mutations leading to cancers and birth defects. So great is the damage of cannabis that it is causal in 33 cancers as against only 14 for tobacco.
A study of 27 European countries indicated that cannabis was significantly causal in 89 of 95 birth defects such as autism, cleft palate and hole in the heart. Most troubling is that these mutations are epigenetically passed down by cannabis users to their children and grandchildren, surpassing the range of harms presented by tobacco use. Another population study found that cannabis is causal in 70% of pediatric cancers. These ever growing findings only add to the already extensive evidence of cannabis’ contribution to psychosis and schizophrenia, associated suicides, violence, domestic violence and even homicides as detailed in Alex Berenson’s book, Tell Your Children. All of these cannabis harms can equally affect medicinal cannabis users.
Taskforce spokesperson, Gary Christian said, “We know from the US that legalising cannabis simply doubled the damage being done by this substance within a couple of years of being legalised, with Colorado doubling cannabis use amongst adults and close to doubling its cannabis hospitalisations and driving deaths, demonstrating that all of the newly verified harms are simply multiplied.”
The Taskforce supports the United Nations’ stance that civil liberties are not extended to the recreational use of drugs of addiction, because as iconic libertarian John Stuart Mill noted, they remove the freedom of choice for users, the very premise of libertarianism and civil liberties. The Taskforce further asserts that the cannabis industry is wilfully ignoring the devastating health impacts of cannabis, and like the tobacco industry before them, are putting profit before people.
The Taskforce comprises leading drug prevention organisations within Australia - Women's Christian Temperance Union, Dalgarno Institute, DACA, Drug Free Australia, Teen Challenge
Research Director - Drug Free Australia
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