The cure for cannabis?

by Responsible Choice · 7 comments

I know, I know, it’s shocking. Perhaps you thought you, being an occasional cannabis user, or recreational even, didn’t need curing.

WRONG, wrong and wrong!

Luckily, Jan Copeland from the notorious NCPIC (National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre) has the cure for your cannabis dependence. But how to know if you’re dependent? Well, Jan has some interesting thoughts on that in a recent interview:

JAN COPELAND: There is about 200,000 Australians who use cannabis daily, about 1 per cent of the population who currently meet criteria for cannabis dependence.

Wow. Just wow. I cannot express how stunned by that comment I am. Nevertheless, the interview goes on to describe Sativex, a “safe” cannabis, as a potential treatment. Why safe? Well it’s made by a pharmaceutical company, part owned by Bayer, and is manufactured under strict laboratory conditions, hence it is safe. Just like Xanex, Oxcontin and Zoloft right?

Is it just me, or can anyone else see the contradiction and hypocrisy in this whole situation? Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely for the application of cannabis in any and all medical capacities possible; however cannabis grows in the earth, almost anywhere, and is illegal. So, according to the statement above, cannabis is only illegal if you are average Joe growing it in his backyard or hydroponically in his wardrobe.

If you are lucky enough to be a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical company then you can actually grow it, mass produce it, market it and then give it to cannabis users as a cure.

Say what?!

But I digress, let’s ignore the obvious lack of intellectual acumen obstructing my understanding of this highly complex scenario and look at what else our old mate Jan has to say.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Just in terms of people who actually try to stop smoking cannabis, are the withdrawal systems something that often stop them from doing so?

JAN COPELAND: Yes, in fact it is one of the main reasons that people have problems stopping. It is like tobacco withdrawal but different and of course we all know people that say it is easy to give up tobacco, I’ve done it a thousand times. It is a similar kind of situation here. It is not a life threatening withdrawal such as alcohol but some people have extreme problems with their sleep, they have problems with feeling really irritable and in fact outbursts of anger. Their appetites are disturbed and things like that and it really is enough over a few days to you know, drive them back to using again. Helping people manage withdrawal is really going to set them on the pathway to long-term abstinence.

There you have it. Now you know why you need a cure, you poor cannabis-addicted people.

Withdrawals. Nasty stuff those. I mean who can withstand potential sleep loss, irritability, ‘disturbances’ in appetite and, wait for it, irritability? You? Jan obviously doesn’t have much faith in your poor addicted soul.

β€œIt has low dose THC because we don’t want people to get stoned, we just want to help them settle down with their levels of cannabis use, and relatively high doses of CBD, which is the good cannabis which reduces anxiety and has an anti-psychotic effect,”

Now in all seriousness let me break this shit down. What is being proposed, as I understand it, is this. In Jan’s words Sativex is essentially like a nicotine patch, so she equates cannabis users with nicotine addicts, despite the fact that nicotine is considered to be one of the most addictive drugs on earth, whilst cannabis is quite the opposite. How she got to that assumption is irrelevant to me, what is relevant is that she is actually promoting a “natural whole plant organically grown product” that her whole ‘centre’, the NCPIC, is actually designed to prevent. What is wrong with that? Anyone? I understand the need for nicotine patches to eliminate the carcinogenic smoke from radioactive-pesticide sprayed tobacco, but cannabis can be used in a variety of ways (ingested, vaporised, as well as smoked), so why would I want Sativex for? To prevent the carcinogenic chocolate brownie crumbs? Not to mention the negative health effects of cannabis use, which are what again? Oh yeah, nothing like tobacco use. Not to mention that cannabis smoke does not cause lung damage. Let’s have a listen:

This whole scenario reeks of hypocrisy. As Director of the NCPIC Jan would ostensibly be opposed to any use of cannabis. Instead she is pro-medical cannabis, specifically for using it to treat cannabis users/addicts… by giving them cannabis made by big pharma. Pharmaceutical companies are not renowned for their harmless products and the whole notion of treating a supposed cannabis addiction by giving the SAME drug in a different form is ludicrous. Some might want to throw in a methadone argument here, but cannabis is not heroin, so the point is essentially moot. Just the fact that Jan expresses abstinence as a goal of Sativex use is absurd, as most recreational users of drugs don’t want to abstain as their use is infrequent. Abstinence is the goal, as cannabis is obviously the MAJOR health risk facing recreational drug users today, and giving big pharma a leg up into the cannabis market is the way to get you ‘drug free’, as long as the drugs you use are legal, as they don’t count. Giving Sativex to recreational users just gives them another medium to add to those mentioned above; to suggest they need to be cured, and that Sativex will do it, is insane.

Or am I wrong? Perhaps there is nothing more at work than some breakthrough drug therapy here.

What do you think?

Let us know and comment below.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Not So Commonsense February 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Great article! And yes, it makes absolutely no sense that the NCPIC is promoting ‘pharmaceutical’ cannabis to ‘cure’ the use of non-pharmaceutical cannabis. That’s it in a nutshell. I think the operative phrase is ‘pharmaceutical company’ and sponsorship(and funding) of research by said companies or their subsidiaries.
‘Cannabis dependence’ is just another way of demonizing the frequent use of cannabis. If someone uses cannabis and actually enjoys it, (gasp), they must have a problem… and surprise, surprise, here is the cure…. courtesy of big pharma. (After all, why let people grow their own medicine when there are profits to be made?)
The French philosopher, Foucault, talked about understanding power structures by looking at how things/subjects/individuals/behaviour are defined (and who is able to name them). Freedom fighter or terrorist, for example. And the way they are defined controls how society and individuals can understand or talk about them (discourse), which in turn influences how society will allow or limit their behaviour.
“Dependent cannabis user’ or just someone who likes cannabis? If you’re dependent, you have a problem and therefore you need medical intervention, Sativex, to treat it. But if you just like cannabis, well, what you need is some sensible drug laws… and the willingness to challenge the labels being created around your behaviour.

“True freedom is to resist the way in which we are defined.”

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Responsible Choice February 25, 2012 at 8:15 am

I couldn’t agree more.

Thanks for your insightful comment!

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Michael Davies February 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Its this kind of hypocrisy that has reduced my faith in the system completely, once again I see the evil of gold controlling my life while big pharma can do WHAT ever they want. Sure I think about not smoking but only because of street prices $90-100 only lasts 3 to 4 days which really sucks because I should be allowed to grow my own. Great article responsible choice

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Responsible Choice February 25, 2012 at 8:19 am

Once again I totally agree, and one of the well known effects of prohibition is that it drives prices of prohibited substances up and creates a black market for them.

The goal, and this is only in my view mind you, would be to have a regulated system of sorts that offers fantastic economic and employment opportunities to communities, whilst allowing for people to grow their own for personal use, much like alcohol and home brewing.

Thanks again for your comments Michael πŸ™‚

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Ryan December 3, 2012 at 12:20 am

We need a cure for all the do-gooders who try and “cure” cannabis users. If the gov had its way, everybody would be on pharma drugs every day of their life, for any number of different socially unacceptable reasons that are deemed by the gov. Soon there will be pills for not being gay, for not being an atheist, or for not being patriotic.

How much money did it cost to develop this synthetic cannabis?
And why is it that the other forms of synthetic cannabis that were available legally are being banned outright? We are told its because its dangerous, but here the gov are releasing their own brand now? Seems like a monopolization to me, ban your competition from making their product and then release your own!
What’s next? Cures for free choice and free thinking? Oh yeah they already tried that – its called democracy and it failed terribly.

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Jesse J January 22, 2013 at 8:28 am

While there are articles like this one on this website I will read every one . I have not seen so many clear and concise stories on one website before . You are spot on with every article. The crazy thing is that they honestly believe they are doing the right thing but that does not excuse the harm these do gooders are doing to our great country. Like a basket they weave their illusions throughout our society everyday.

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franky September 25, 2013 at 7:56 am

Hi Tim. Just wanted to let you know that as a cannabinoid scientist (and daily smoker) i agree with everything you said EXCEPT the lung damage thing. Of course any smoke causes lung damage. Recent evidence even suggests cannabis smoke can cause lung cancer, which there was previously no evidence for. But like, you know bongchitis? Also many cannabis-only smokers develop chronic broncho-obstructive diseases like emphysema.

Solution: don’t smoke it! Vapour is the future.

So yeah that’s all. I think the most important thing knowledgeable people can do in this sphere is to rectify ignorance through compassionate education. And this goes for the pro-cannabis side too. The anti side is full of shit, it’s up to us not to be. We just have to acknowledge that like all drugs cannabis has potential harms, but of course you are right and they are much less severe than those of most drugs, particularly alcohol (poison).

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