Ahh, Western Australia.

by Responsible Choice · 3 comments

It’s a beautiful place, shame about the incompetence of their state government when it comes to drug policy.

Now in a previous article we saw how Western Australia recently changed their more progressive cannabis laws to possibly the most backward in the country. As such, I was under the false impression that ALL of the batshit crazy policy had been expelled by the WA Liberal government. Oh how wrong I was; unfortunately the magnitude of my error was significant. Don’t believe me?

Your Honour, Exhibit A:

Yes, I know, we have been literally bombarded with cannabis propaganda for so long that this tripe should come as little surprise. Nothing out of the blue there, an absolute absence of fact, combined with an abstract and confused message. Yep, check and check. Let’s take the time to reminisce about the useless drug propaganda pumped out by our government in recent times with this lovely flashback clip:

Ahem…Your Honour, I now call the Honourable Helen Morton MLC, Mental Health Minister for the WA state government, to the stand.

Please watch this press release for the new WA Government ‘Cannabis Messes With Your Mind‘ campaign:

Now to me it isn’t the nature of the propaganda that is worrying (same same there really), it is more that her ‘sell’ of it is appalling.

The fact that she states from her mysterious ‘research’ that 1 in 3 people think there is little negative health effects from cannabis is actually encouraging to me. If people who participated in such polls had read a bit from our site, or any other like it, chances are they were slightly more informed than your average Joe about cannabis. This may constitute a ‘scary’ scenario for Helen, but then again she is trying to sell the public an absolute mockery of both scientific fact and progressive drug and harm reduction policy, so we may differ in our definitions of scary.

I must admit the scariest things for me from the whole clip were the questions that are asked afterwards and the cost. Not one of the reporters asked what research she was quoting statistics and facts from. Not one that was shown anyway, and the cost! $1 million, for that rubbish ad campaign as a starter, aimed at bringing ‘better awareness’. The words permanent effects and cannabis should be rarely mixed as far as actual science-based research is concerned, and I would’ve thought cannabis would’ve been worthy of being touted as a much more preferable drug to alcohol in Indigenous communities, where grog wreaks absolute havoc.

Calls for alcohol treatment centres in every Kimberley town (March 21, 2011)

I would also ask the WA Government why now? Considering that there is an emerging methamphetamine issue in WA.

Airport drug bust nets 18kg of methamphetamine, $500,000 – Kristy Symonds and AAP From: PerthNow March 02, 2012

Criminal syndicates flood WA with drugs – Ronan O’Connell, The West Australian March 16, 2012

And of course we need to make the distinction when we talk about meth and cannabis too closely together because it always pays to note; one is potentially lethal, the other is not.

Having said all of that about WA, their government, in terms of drug policy and initiatives, isn’t all bad. Take Perth Local Council, the City of Melville, which has commissioned a professional short film, titled ‘The Gathering’, based on real-life scenarios involving alcohol and youth.

This 7.30 report piece on it is quite interesting.

Now if it were up to me I would much rather see my tax dollars going into resources and campaigns that will educate the youth by arming them with facts and reality, not mind map mythology.

You?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Iblis June 2, 2012 at 5:29 am

0ne in five people suffer mental health issues due to child hood physical & sexual abuse, 80% percent of people who have been sexually abused as a child also turns to self medication, WAKE UP AUSTRALIA!!!

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Responsible Choice August 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Thanks for your reply Iblis.

Unfortunately it is a fact that many drug abusers have had a history of childhood abuse. Dr Gabor Mate from Canada has done some excellent research and writing around this connection.

Again it comes back to looking at drug use as a social and health issue, not a criminal justice one.

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Jesse J January 22, 2013 at 9:50 am

As a youth that was pushed into the anti drugs world with 12 steps of recovery I finally started asking WHY?Why do I need recovery from addiction when I was never addicted.It seems there is no shortage or moderation messages when it comes to alcohol but when cannabis is mentioned More often then not the message is that it is preferable to alcohol.I totally agree that those in the positions in government able to make a change to policy just don’t have the experience necessary to make informed decisions.In the age groups around 45 years there is more likely to be something like 80% plus who believe that cannabis is safer but will they ever get a fair go to vote on it.Not while there is a major party in power all it takes is one politician in one area to put the legislation forward so we can all vote on it.In my area we thought it would be the greens but no not a mention of sensible policy yet.One day enough people will wake up to how much harm is caused by Prohibition.We need some sensible policy changes and that includes re-legalization because it was legal for thousands of years and it will be again.Till then many innocent people will suffer in so many different ways that only hindsight will give us the right perspective and that is only possible if prohibition is ended.Keep up the great work. Love the website.

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