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Legalised programs may be underused if doctors do not support them. boodoo/Flickr

Legalising medical cannabis: lessons from Canada’s policies

A bill to permit medical cannabis use in Australia is set for debate in Senate. If medical cannabis use is legalised, doctors could become gatekeepers between patients and a controversial drug. Lessons…
Role of cannabis in medicine does not strengthen argument for legalisation. Thomas Hawk

Hype around cannabis as a treatment for cancer is undeserved

Cannabis has long been touted as containing chemicals that might work against cancer. A recent study suggested that two chemicals found in cannabis, the cannabinoids CBD and THC, could act on an aggressive…
Somewhere in this much-incinerated plant lies valuable medicine: perhaps a treatment for cancer or an antidote to obesity. Prensa 420/Flickr

Old dope, new tricks: the new science of medical cannabis

Medicinal cannabis is back in the news again after a planned trial to grow it in Norfolk Island was blocked by the federal government last week. The media is ablaze with political rumblings and tales of…
A joint affair: legalising cannabis and doing it properly. Prensa420

Legalising cannabis is more than just a yes or no decision

It is one thing for a jurisdiction to decide that it no longer supports the prohibition of cannabis; it is another to figure out how to establish and regulate a legal cannabis market. Uruguay became the…
A growing number of countries allow the use of cannabis for medical reasons while prohibiting recreational use. Mark/Flickr (resized)

Australia has no reason to disallow medical cannabis use

International acceptance of medicinal cannabis is growing because it can provide relief for people who can’t be sufficiently helped with current pharmaceutical drugs. But despite growing evidence of its…
Perhaps the UK could buy a starter kit? Rose Robinson

Free the weed, but growing an effective market would be tough

We appear to be on the cusp of a major change in the laws surrounding the use and sale of cannabis. Several nations have now decriminalised usage, and the first steps toward full legalisation have taken…
‘I’m not so much anti-establishment as pointing out the obvious.’ Imperial College London/Layton Thompson

David Nutt: ‘I was sacked, I was angry, I was right’

The John Maddox Prize for standing up for science is awarded to individuals who are judged to have “promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest” and especially those who have faced…
THC stimulates dopamine. Gareth Fuller/PA

Targeting cannabis reward-effect could help treat addiction

A new drug that targets the rewarding effects of cannabis could help some to overcome their addiction. If promise becomes a reality after clinical trials, it could join medications that are used in the…
Lights, camera, police action. PA

There’s still too much haze around cannabis psychosis

Sourcing unbiased information about the health effects of using cannabis has always been difficult. Government-sponsored propaganda was evident as far back as the 1930s in the film Reefer Madness, which…
It will soon be legal to grow, sell and smoke cannabis in Uruguay. Cuau Guerra

What Uruguay’s legal weed means for the war on drugs

Uruguay is set to become the first country to legalise marijuana use, cultivation and possession following a century of often authoritarian prohibition laws across the globe. In a landmark vote on President…
Australia has strong cultural barriers to looking at the legal status of cannabis and alcohol in the same frame. Elvert Barnes

Could a regulated cannabis market help curb Australia’s drinking problem?

Alcohol is a serious problem in Australia, both on the weekend streets and more widely behind the closed doors. It’s time we started a conversation about what can be done to help, and we should consider…
High demand for cannabis has led some people down the ‘synthetic drugs’ route - but are these drugs actually trusted by the users? Schorle

Synthetic cannabis: even regular drug users don’t trust it

For decades, cannabis has remained the most popular illicit drug among Australians. The strong demand among cannabis and other drug users for methods to evade detection and legal trouble has made online…
Despite the billions of dollars spent on the ‘war on drugs’, a 2012 survey reported that most respondents find cannabis easy to obtain. Periódico El Ciudadano

Get smarter about illicit drugs to help balance the budget

A sudden reduction in corporate profits has blown a $12 billion hole in the federal budget. This development should spark a debate within and outside government about how we deal with illicit drugs in…

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