Media Release 12 August 2020
A social justice advocate from Washington DC says that the idea that legalising cannabis is going to deal with systemic injustices and inequalities is naive at best if not outright appropriating issues of systemic injustice for personal gain and personal profit.
The SayNopeToDope Campaign hosted a Facebook event today with interviews of three international experts on cannabis legalisation.
Author, consultant, advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations including Barack Obama, and assistant professor, Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for more than 20 years. He is currently the President and CEO of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).
Professor Mary Cannon is a Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and Will Jones III is a Communications and Outreach Associate at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and Social Justice advocate.
From her research, which includes involvement in the Dunedin longitudinal study, Professor Cannon warned that cannabis is strongly associated with psychotic symptoms and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. In fact, cannabis use is now the most powerful single environmental risk factor for psychotic disorder. Recent studies from Europe have examined the risks associated with high-potency cannabis (defined as greater than 10 per cent THC) and have found that daily users of high potency cannabis have a nine-fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia or another clinical psychotic disorder. But this “psychotogenic” effect is not confined to adolescent-onset cannabis use and appears more linked to frequency of use. In addition, it is not confined to people with a history of psychotic disorder in their family (although they are at high risk and should avoid cannabis).
She concludes that the failure of governments worldwide to control alcohol harms shows that once an addictive substance is legalised and freely available, public health takes a second place to profit.
WATCH THE FULL PRESENTATION