United Kingdom Health Authority figures for hospital treatment as a result of cannabis use have increased substantially in the past 3 years.
Cannabis treatments for adults in 2004/5 were 11057, increasing to 14828 in 2005/6 and increasing again to 16685 in 2006/7.
For children, cannabis use hospitalizations increased from 8014 in 2005/6 to 9259 in 2006/7.
The result of these increasing hospitalizations for cannabis use health problems has been put down to a weakening of cannabis laws in 2001 that has seen a large increase in cannabis use.
The British Medical Association confirmed the link of cannabis with lung damage, cancer and psychosis.
(Source: The Telegraph (United Kingdom), 10 January 2008 and BBC News, 11 January 2008)
Australia like the United Kingdom has a high level of cannabis use and can expect the same health problems putting pressure on hospitals and mental health facilities.
Cannabis use carries health risks particularly relating to mental illness.
Cannabis is addictive and is a gateway not only to higher use but to the use of other illicit drugs.
World’s best practice has proven the need for early intervention so Australian authorities must now have these programs available to reduce the demand for illicit drugs.
Australian courts must be used to divert cannabis users into detoxification and rehabilitation to get them drug free.
Lets ditch harm minimization for what works.