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News (Media Awareness Project) - Australia: New Research About Cannabis Use
Title:Australia: New Research About Cannabis Use
Published On:2012-01-09
Source:Northern Star (Australia)
Fetched On:2012-01-10 06:01:36
NEW RESEARCH ABOUT CANNABIS USE

NEW research on cannabis suggests smoking a joint might not be as bad
for the brain as it was once thought.

The research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows
cannabis users' memories are as good, if not better, than non-users'.

The findings have got pro-cannabis campaigners including Nimbin Hemp
Embassy president Michael Balderstone hopeful that current anti-pot
legislation will go up in smoke.

"I think the Greens will try to get a limited trial of medicinal
cannabis happening soon, but it's not going to help the two million
regular cannabis users in Australia," he said.

"We've been left behind."

New legislation soon to be voted on in California would see cannabis
regulated in the same way alcohol was, he claimed.

Mr Balderstone said the new research was right and cannabis was not
bad for memory function.

"I think that when you're stoned, you're spaced out, and some of your
short-term memory goes but it does come back," he said.

"If there's a history of mental illness, you've got to be
careful.

"But there's not one recorded death from cannabis use.

"Someone might have choked on a plastic bag once trying to eat an
ounce or something but that's about it."

Mr Balderstone said "getting busted" was the worst health risk
associated with cannabis use.

"You get a criminal record, which you have all your life, and it makes
it hard to get a job, and that's when you get mental illnesses like
depression," he explained.

Mr Balderstone said the "fear and paranoia of smoking under
prohibition" is also one of the biggest causes of mental illness in
cannabis users.

The new research on memory function is particularly relevant to
Australia and New Zealand as their rates of cannabis use are highest
in the world.

Mr Balderstone said the Northern Rivers has a high rate of usage when
compared to other regions in those countries.
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