Members of the NZMA voting ‘no’ in the cannabis referendum

By August 9, 2020 Recent News

Cannabis referendum: Four experts weigh up the pros and cons of legalising marijuana
NewsHub 9 August 2020
Our additional comment: Do we listen to drug advocates who want to normalise all drugs…. or to medical professionals who are health and patient-focused? 
Pretty simply answer eh.

Dr Kate Baddock – chair of the New Zealand Medical Association, a pan-professional medical organisation representing the interests of doctors

The NZMA holds the position that the social, psychological, and physical harms of cannabis are real and relevant, and Dr Baddock and many other doctors do not support the legalisation of cannabis based on those harms.

The social harms of cannabis include particularly the reduction in academic performance in younger people so that they underachieve educationally, and amotivational syndromes that are seen with continued prolonged use, affecting adults’ ability and motivation to work. Cannabis also affects the ability to drive safely through psychomotor effects slowing coordination and reaction times and increasing the risk of accidents. Cannabis and driving can be a fatal combination.

The psychological harms include impairment of thought processes, such as the organisation of complex information, short-term memory and executive processes. There is some evidence that these changes are not reversed on cessation of cannabis use, so cognitive function once lost cannot be regained.

Other psychological impacts include changes in mood and paranoia, anxiety, or panic. The association with the development of psychosis is well-recognised, although the strength of the causal relationship has been widely debated. There is also the risk of cannabis dependence (CAD) which appears to be related to a blend of unique environmental and shared environmental characteristics, and genetic propensity.
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