Medicinal cannabis laws – will they lead to an overall increase in cannabis use?

cannabisThe Turnbull government this week introduced to parliament legislation allowing the controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes through a national licensing scheme.

“This is an important day for Australia and the many advocates who have fought long and hard to challenge the stigma around medicinal cannabis products,” Health Minister Sussan Ley said.

While she described the laws as the “missing piece”, Labor and the Greens argued it was really just the first piece.

Research, including findings published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed marijuana has some effectiveness in helping treat chronic pain.

On the positive side cannabis has been used to treat an array of health conditions with proven positive results indicating the new laws as a sensible move, on the other cannabis can become an addiction and there are concerns around side effects, effects of long term use and dependency.

Keynote Presenter Professor Jan Copeland – Director, National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, UNSW will speak at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.

Professor Jan Copeland is the founding Director of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) at UNSW Australia. She has worked in the addictions field for more than 25 years and is best known for her research developing and testing brief interventions for the management of cannabis use disorder among adults and adolescents.

The Conference, hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, will include workshops, presentations and forums dedicated to sharing skills and understanding in the treatment of all addictive disorders, including alcohol and other drugs, behavioural addictions, and the emerging field of online compulsive behaviour in both adults and children.

A priority aim of this Conference will be to deepen our understanding around the interrelationship of addictive disorders between each other, as well as with mental health, family, community, and culture.

The Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016 will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016. The optional workshops will be held on the afternoon of the 18 May. To register for the Conference CLICK HERE.

To view the full ABC news story CLICK HERE.

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