Despite this, the relatively harmless nature of the drug means there are few if any damning results. Even the current focus on trying to prove cannabis causes psychosis is producing only tenuous links, even as the media seem to accept any old research as gospel.
An article by cannabis law reformer Paul Armentano outlines the Obama Government's betrayal of its own commitment to evidence-based policy - "Change we can believe in". The American Medical Association also called for more research into medical cannabis, raising hopes among reformers.
Those hopes were snuffed, however, when a representative from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the agency that oversees 85 percent of the world's research on controlled substances, reaffirmed its longstanding "no medi-pot" policy to The New York Times. "As the National Institute on Drug Abuse, our focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use," a spokesperson told the paper in 2010. " We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana."In other words, they only look for harms. Anything researched in this way would create a bad picture, so it is hardly scientifically balanced. Other agencies such as Australia's National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) follow a similar policy, spending large amounts of scarce national health funding on their unbalanced research and subsequent anti-cannabis propaganda. NCPIC last year was funded for a further four years.
Meanwhile many people wait years for elective surgery and the shortage of nurses means more are working long or double shifts, while post-operative patients who in former times would have been cared for in hospital for a few days are filled with painkillers and immediately sent home. And try seeing a doctor on a Sunday in Sydney city. My advice is, stay healthy!
Prohibition surely screws up our national priorities.