The story concerns the cannabis-based mouth spray Sativex, developed by GW Pharmaceuticals and licensed to Bayer among others, and its potential to wean pot smokers off their habit. Federally funded NCPIC is conducting a trial of Sativex, a move which is of concern since GW's tactics in getting approval for Sativex in the UK are being questioned by law reform group CLEAR which claims several lies were told in the process.
The SMH story misleads by comparing cannabis 'addiction' with the far more habit-forming drugs nicotine and opioids, even using the term 'cold turkey'.
Anyone who has experienced cold turkey would laugh at the comparison - it's a bit like comparing a train-wreck to a parking ding. Listen to John Lennon's song Cold Turkey or read Keith Richards' gory descriptions in his autobiography to get the picture.
But NCPIC is happily spending our tax dollars on a randomised trial to test the efficacy of Sativex in weaning smokers off pot, inviting participants to spend eight days in hospital during the trial. Hospital? Sheesh, pot smoking MUST be really serious. Lucky we have so many hospital beds to spare.
The story then quotes a woman who has written a book about her attempts to get off this deadly drug. She claims it is so addictive "you get to a point where you would rob your own grandmother to get some.'' Oh dear, shades of Reefer Madness here.
No mention of the vast majority of people who simply stop when they want to, with little or no ill-effect, and who wouldn't dream of robbing their grandma.
[Sativex was developed to ease the symptoms of people with Multiple Sclerosis and is under trial for the relief of cancer pain. It is a processed form of medical marijuana approved by medical regulators in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Spain. The makers claim it has no psycho-active effects]