Parents are outraged about a product called Cannabis Energy Drink that went on sale at some supermarkets last week, claiming it irresponsibly promotes marijuana as a harmless drug.
Mother-of-two Simone Calnon said local supermarkets selling the Austrian drink were normalising cannabis by making it appear as if it was a regular item that belonged on a shop shelf. She said the energy drink gave young children the impression marijuana was safe, despite it having been linked to health problems including anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
The energy drink contains hemp-seed extract but is deemed legal because it does not include THC, the main mind-altering ingredient of marijuana. Ms Calnon complained to Huntingdale IGA staff last week after she and her children saw the product among other soft drinks and bottled water but said her concerns were dismissed.
“I spoke to one of the workers about it and she giggled and said, ‘It’s just a drink’,” she said. “It seems that cannabis is already a cultural norm for some.”
Ms Calnon, who at Armadale Polytechnic West is studying the effects of drugs and alcohol with her classmates Mel Graves and Jaye Baron, said the drinks contravened the State Government strategy to discourage favourable attitudes to drugs. Huntingdale IGA duty manager Eric Ta said that he had not previously considered the social impact of the product but after hearing of the concerns, when contacted byThe West Australian yesterday, he would remove the product immediately.
Distribution firm NBG Pty Ltd, which has delivered 40 cartons around Perth since it hit the Perth market last week, also dismissed the drinks as harmless initially, claiming the link to cannabis was “just a gimmick." But after learning of the parents’ concerns, a spokeswoman said the company would immediately cease selling the product to supermarkets and would send remaining cartons back to the supplier.
By Kim McDonald - The West Australian/Oct. 12, 2015
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