#961 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 14 Sep 2014.
New research conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, claims teenagers who regularly used cannabis before they turned 17 were 60 per cent more likely to drop out of high school or university, and seven times more likely to attempt suicide, than those who never smoked.
The study suggests decriminalisation is not the answer, and could have serious longterm negative consequences for users.
One of the study’s authors, Professor Richard Mattick, said the findings were timely “given that several US states and countries in Latin America have made moves to decriminalise or legalise cannabis.”
Fellow author, Dr Edmund Silins, said the report provided “strong evidence that the prevention or delay of cannabis use is likely to have broad health and social benefits. Efforts to reform cannabis legislation should be carefully assessed to ensure they reduce adolescent cannabis use and prevent potentially adverse effects on adolescent development.”
We couldn’t agree more.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.