Despite the Australian government’s increasingly progressive stance on medical cannabis, the Drug Advisory Council of Australia (DACA) has left some rather regressive resources on the website.
Medical cannabis has been legal in Australia since 2016, with over 50,000 new patients approved in the first half of 2020 alone. Despite that, the stigma against medical cannabis continues to interrupt the healthcare and education given to Australians.
A prime example of this can be seen on DACA’s website, where they continue to promote an American pamphlet titled ‘medical marijuana does not exist’. Inside the brochure, a range of bizarre claims are made to prove that cannabis medications are bad, including that:
- Medical cannabis patients often resell their medication
- Marijuana is not safe as it has over 400 chemicals (coffee has over 1,000)
- Medical cannabis advertising targets children (Australia does not allow prescription medication advertising)
- A school resource officer found marijuana on a child attending an affluent middle school
Unsurprisingly, a closer look into each of the “studies” reveals these ‘facts’ are either not backed by statistically significant data, are blatantly false or are taken out of context. The pamphlet also complains that 15 Colorado doctors prescribe 70% of cannabis medicines. This sounds alarming, but (like in Australia) medical cannabis can only be prescribed by specially trained doctors.
While medical cannabis is no miracle drug, healthcare should be informed by actual data. Australians should be receiving healthcare advice from their doctors and leaving the gossip to Australia’s tabloids. I believe Dr Sanjay Gupta said it best.
I have already let science and facts lead the way. Make no mistake: cannabis is a medicine.
To read about the actual research into medical cannabis, click here.