Introduction: The Size, Distribution and Risks Associated with the Health Problem

Cannabis appears in many signifiers, from marihuana ( the dried flowers ) to hashish or hash ( the compressed rosin or sap ) . However cannabis refers to the works itself every bit good as its associated merchandises. Cannabis is most frequently smoked in the signifier of a “ joint ” , but it can besides be smoked in a pipe called a “ bong ” , every bit good as it is able to be eaten, this is really seldom done though ( Health 2009 ) . When smoked the effects are felt rather rapidly, the antonym of when it is eaten, nevertheless it is harder to command the dosage when it is eaten ( Health 2009 ) . The usage of hemp in Australia today is non merely broad spread and of all time increasing, so are the jobs associated with its usage. Cannabis usage can non merely take to respiratory unwellness, malignant neoplastic diseases and other physical unwellnesss ( Kalant 2004 ) but is can besides ensue in many mental wellness jobs, such as schizophrenic disorder, acute anxiousness or terror, psychosis and depression ( Kalant 2004 ) , and the figure of instances of hapless mental wellness associated with hemp usage continues to increase at an amazing rate each twelvemonth.

While hemps itself causes no deceases on its ain, when it is assorted with other chemicals the “ high ” consequence that consequences from its usage plays a prima function in the concatenation of events that causes a given decease. In 1993 there were found to be 466,897 drug related episodes reported, of these hemp was the topic of 29,200 references ( Network 1995 ) . The figure of hemp related episodes had increased by 22 % between 1990 and 1993 ( Network 1995 ) , ( see Table 1 ) for more inside informations on hemp usage. Australia is ranked 2nd in the universe for cannabis use ( 2010 ) , 60 % of Australia ‘s population admitted to utilizing hemp at least one time by the age of 20, of these people 7 % admitted to utilizing it on a regular basis ( Health 2009 ) . While there are no statistics that demonstrate the costs of handling hemp and its related jobs, the cost of therapy for cannabis dependence coupled with that of the physical and mental wellness jobs, the intervention would be rather dearly-won to the authorities and revenue enhancement remunerators. The fact that Australia is ranked the 2nd highest hemp utilizing state in the universe and holding a greater rate than that of the US by 5.90 % ( 2010 ) is decidedly a concern for the authorities and many wellness attention professionals.

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A survey conducted by Marroun et Al. ( 2008 ) has discovered that ethnicity, faith and societal position play a big portion in hemp usage distribution. Men are more likely than adult females to smoke hemp particularly if they are non married, unemployed and uneducated. However adult females will besides follow smoking hemp if exposed to mistreat or force ( Hanan el Marroun 2008 ) . Another survey by Dengenhardt et Al. ( 2007 ) has shown that non Hispanic white people are more likely than any other race to utilize hemp. However life clip hemp usage is significantly higher among black and assorted ethnicity immature people ( Jayakody et al. , 2006 ) . Furthermore being spiritual decreases the odds of hemp usage about 3 crease ( Dengenhardt 2007 ) . There are no hazard factors per say that straight cause a individual to utilize hemp, nevertheless in the survey by Marroun et al. , ( 2008 ) it has been proven that exposure to force or maltreatment as a kid has a high hemp usage rate as an grownup, moreover if as an grownup the spouse is a hemp user so the individual is more likely to utilize hemp. These factors coupled with low socio-economic position, being uneducated and being of assorted or black ethnicity will increase the hazard of utilizing hemp vastly.

Table 1 Summary of selected references during exigency room visits from describing sample in 1993. ( Network 1995 )


Number of Mentions


Entire episodes






intoxicant in comb.






common analgesics*









marihuana ( all )



marihuana in comb



marihuana entirely



* acetylsalicylic acid, Datril and isobutylphenyl propionic acid

** Xanax ( Xanax ) , diazapam ( Valium ) and lorazepam

Beginning: DAWN, SAMSHA Advanced Report # 8. 12/94

Body: The Evidence

A survey by Henquet and co-workers, conducted a meta-analysis in which it was shown without a uncertainty that the ingestion of hemp is associated with a duplicating in the hazard of schizophrenic disorder later in life. The chief ingredient of hemp is tetrahydrocannibinol ( THC ) , in which the psychological effects stem from the activation of the CB1 receptor in the encephalon. The psychological effects of hemp usage is a consequence of the break or implosion therapy of the normal CB1 receptor mediated signaling ( Marta Di Forti 2007 ) . In 1999 information was extracted from the Danish Psychiatric cardinal registry, these patients were followed for a lower limit of 3 old ages. One-half of the patients who received a diagnosing for hemp induced psychosis had developed schizophrenic disorder spectrum upset, merely 1 twelvemonth subsequently and at a younger age than that of people with no history of hemp usage ( Marta Di Forti 2007 ) . In a 15 twelvemonth survey of hemp usage and schizophrenic disorder, it was found that there is a dose-response relation between the hazard of schizophrenic disorder and the frequence of hemp usage by the age of 18 ( Hall 2006 ) . Not merely does the usage of hemp cause schizophrenic disorder, it has besides been proven that heavy hemps use can besides do acute toxic psychosis, and psychiatric comorbidity. There has besides been some weaker grounds emerge of a relation between hemp usage and depression. Wilcox et Al. ( 2004 ) discovered that hemp usage in females younger than 15 raised the hazards of suicide ideation or effort in the 15 old ages following, significantly. These consequences prove that the usage of hemp is associated with an earlier oncoming of mental wellness upsets, and that higher doses of hemp are besides a subscriber of mental wellness upsets in people who use the drug. Using hemp may besides take to dependence on the drug ( Kalant 2004 ) and has been proven to be a gateway for utilizing harder illicit drugs ( Marta Di Forti 2007 ) .


Unfortunately the primary stakeholders in the hemp argument are the traders, agriculturists and distributers of the drug, doing 1000000s every twelvemonth from this of all time increasing concern. There is nevertheless a positive stakeholder in the equation, the authorities has a big investing in the hemp concern. The authorities has introduced Torahs to protect its citizens from the harmful effects of the drug. They have besides set up clinics to assist people with hemp induced mental wellness upsets and besides to assist ablactate them off of their dependence. Last the remainder of society is a major stakeholder. Tax remunerators pay for user ‘s infirmary measures and besides their dependence. Users are likely to go violent and frequently steal to fund their dependence. All of these parties have an of import investing in the usage of hemp, some are positive, and others are really negative as illustrated by ( Government 2009 ) .

Barriers and Interventions

Many of the barriers to utilizing the intercessions of hemp are the jurisprudence itself, Torahs are in topographic point to seek to halt the trafficking and usage of hemp, nevertheless these same Torahs prevent sellers from being caught and prosecuted. Police foremost need a warrant to seek any individuals house suspected of transporting illegal drugs, giving many traders plenty of clip to acquire rid of the grounds. Besides people ‘s freedom of pick makes obtaining the drug really easily. If people want it severely plenty, so they will be able to acquire their custodies on it. There are merely excessively many factors to patrol. Many people find their manner around these intercessions ( the jurisprudence and the authorities ) . Even the menace of a all right and imprisonment ( Government 2009 ) does n’t discourage traders and users. The really Torahs set in topographic point to forestall the usage and distribution of hemp, besides act as barriers to these intercessions, through all the formalities and trifles involved.

Addressing the job?

Therefore far there are Torahs in topographic point to seek and turn to the current hemp jobs, these include: brawny mulcts if a individual is caught utilizing, merchandising, turning or transporting and transporting hemp. Not to advert there are possible prison sentences for those found guilty in a caught of jurisprudence. Each province is different in the Torahs they implement ( see Table 2 and 3 ) , some will give out a $ 50 mulct while others will bear down for condemnable offense. Some legal powers have decriminalized minor hemp offenses, intending the offense can be dealt with by a civil punishment, nevertheless this does n’t non pretermit the fact that hemp is an illicit drug ( Government 2009 ) .

Table 2

Minor hemp offenses in legal powers that have decriminalised hemp ( Government 2009 ) .

Table 1

Table 3

Diversion plans for minor hemp offenses ( Government 2009 ) .

Table 2


To forestall hemp from going more popular and doing injury to many Australian citizens, the authorities should increase the effects of being caught in ownership of hemp. The authorities needs to take part in research that focuses on the more harmful long term effects of hemp usage, and they should educate schools and high-school degree pupils on the harmful effects. Not adequate attempt is put into educating people on the negative side of hemp usage. Furthermore the authorities should put advertizements on Television to show to the general populace, the injury that hemp can non merely do to your physical being but besides your mental wellness and all the people around you.


Cannabis should non be legalized in Australia ; there is an overpowering organic structure of grounds that links cannabis use to mental wellness jobs in the short term every bit good as later in life. Cannabis users were found to be at dual the hazard of developing schizophrenic disorder than those who do non utilize hemp, and at a much earlier age in life than others. The larger the dosage of hemp that is used the more terrible the effect. Not merely are the effects harmful physically and mentally, but one time used the cannabis user may besides develop a dependance on the drug and may endure backdown symptoms if they do n’t utilize the drug for periods of clip. Cannabis has besides been found to be a gateway drug, taking to the usage of many more unsafe and illicit drugs. However the surveies do hold their drawbacks, while the more recent surveies support the nexus between psychosis and hemp, other surveies have besides suggested that this nexus is merely plausible if the user is genetically mediated toward mental wellness upsets. These surveies besides note a trouble in stipulating these familial exposures ( Hall 2006 ) , and with many people sing hemp as a soft drug that causes no injury ( Health 2009 ) , sentiment for the legalisation of hemp in Australia is really colored. Even with these supports, the negativenesss far outweigh the positives. With all the negative effects hemp has on the human organic structure, head, authorities resources, clip, revenue enhancement remunerator ‘s money and well-being, Cannabis should most decidedly non be legalized in Australia, In order to protect the future wellness and well-being of the people of this state.

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