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Educate Teens On Dangers Of Cannabis Use

31 August 2004

Educate Teens On Dangers Of Cannabis Use

New Zealand First youth affairs spokesperson Craig McNair is calling for more effective education strategies to ensure that teenagers are aware of the long-term health effects of heavy cannabis use.

A new report identifies a strong link between cannabis use and mental illness in a study of teenagers at the mental health unit in Christchurch.

“The study showed that most of the 62 patients suffering from severe psychiatric illnesses were cannabis users,” said Mr McNair.

“It is becoming more and more evident that the long term physical, social and psychological effects of using cannabis are greater than many young people assume or care to acknowledge.

“Youth are being fed the message that cannabis is a harmless drug. Calls to decriminalise cannabis only push this misleading message further with the argument that because it’s out there, available, and apparently the drug of choice for many otherwise ‘normal’ people, it shouldn’t be a criminal offence.

“Teenagers need to be aware of the harmful effects of this drug, and hopefully it will make them think twice before they smoke cannabis,” said Mr McNair.

ENDS

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