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Pot Less Popular, but Demon Drink is Worse

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  1. chillinwill
    While Australians increasingly frown on habitual cannabis use, local experts are warning the bigger problem -- alcohol -- is hiding in plain sight.

    Public support for legalising cannabis has declined from a 1998 high as the country takes an increasingly dim view of the drug.

    A new study by the University of NSW's Drug Policy Modelling Program shows only 10 per cent of

    Australians now approve of regular cannabis use, compared with one-quarter just four years ago.

    "The high watermark for support of cannabis legalisation was around 1998, and since that time support for legalisation has progressively decreased," program director, Associate Professor Alison Ritter, said.

    But while a more drug-aware public recognised the health hazards associated with chronic cannabis use, a culture of alcohol consumption was doing far more damage, a leading Northern Rivers drug and alcohol counselling service said.

    Barry Evans, director of The Buttery Inc at Binna Burra, said there had been a spike in people with alcohol-related problems seeking help in the past five years.

    "We have an increasing culture which condones alcohol use and there needs to be more resources allocated," he said.

    Mr Evans supported ongoing education around the dangers of cannabis use, particularly for those with pre-existing mental health problems. But an equivalent level of attention should be dedicated to alcohol use, he said.

    Mr Evans said the immediate impact of alcohol abuse, such as road accidents, physical and verbal fighting, and inappropriate social behaviour -- combined with the longer-term health risks of alcohol and its widespread consumption -- suggested public awareness could be improved.

    The new research showed Australians now favoured education and harm minimisation measures over tough penalties for drug users.

    By Saffron Howden
    28th January 2009
    The Northern Star
    http://www.northernstar.com.au/story/2009/01/28/pot-less-popular-but-demon-drink-is-worse/

Comments

  1. chillinwill
    I find this particular statement very interesting as most people in this world (especially lots of politicians) want harsher penalties for drug users rather than harm reduction and education techniques.
  2. papel
    alcohol and cigarrets are the worst drugs out there kiling much more peaplo then anyother drug. and they keep worring about LSD, Ecstazy skunk etc... because of drugs not been legalized like Marihuana 1000s of people day a year, around 6.000 people died trying to combate the drugs cartel in mexico, qhy not legalize it i am sure wont kill that many a year legalizing!!!
  3. SupeR
    That's because most people down here have realized that trying to get cannabis legalized is a lost cause...
  4. RoboCodeine7610
    Swim's always said that alcohol was way more damaging to the public than Marijuana.Alcohol is addictive,damaging to the liver and stomach and overall way more dangerous than marijuana, but still, alcohol is avaliable legally almost everywhere while marijuana is still illegal almost everywhere...
  5. enquirewithin
    If the Australian public is really taking a 'dim view' of cannabis perhaps that's because of the right wing press. "Studies" can say anything!
  6. yolbit
    australia really has a lot to answer for in terms of social drug awareness...

    although really within the media the right wing conservative view point is only portrayed, alcohol abuse is rampant within australian culture, yet the media attention is pointed towards drugs like cannabis, ecstacy, GHB, speed and heroin... which there are deaths attributed, but nothing like those to alcohol and ciggarettes

    i can only be thankful that getting caught in australia with a gram of anything, will get you a stern dressing down by the police, or a slap on the wrists by a magistrate

    for our brothers and sisters in the US the law isnt so forgiving
  7. Scrubbs
    Yes yall, I think we can all agree that the laws are put in place not for the sake of the people. The legal drugs are waaaaaaaaaaAY more worse for you than ALOT of illegal drugs. The govt. wants us to be dumb, stupid, souless, ignorant and suffering.

    I am sure you all already know this and I am preaching to the choir. But still, we need to say this to everyone that we can. It's important.
  8. elpatto
    I can't help but thinking that this article isn't exactly correct, granted the Aussie law has got increasingly harder on drug use, or possibly just more procedural. Cannibus is quite a well accepted drug in alots of parts in Aus, but a culture that embraces drinking so heavily can never realy depose alcohol from its throne.

    All the same, people comparing alcohol to weed or cigs to weed- this is not a great comparison to make. I don't beleive you can even successfully compare different types of alcohol use ( Eg, heavy beer drinking in australia vs. insane vodka consumption in some parts of Eastern Europe.

    As long as people have a beer after work, every night of the weekend and when ever else, you cant reasonably expect a culture to replace one vice for another (Which seems more the tone of alot of "booze kills more then grass" people). I mean it is just not feasable, people are gonna crack a beer at the footy not roll a joint, what u think a barbeque would look like if people honestly beleived that alcohol was as bad as some make it out to be?

    As far as I am concerned alcoholism is a grassroots problem in Australia, deeply cultural and somewhat irreversable. Marijuana has typically been accepted as it does not cut against this grain (Where as heavy amphetamines are almost shunned by all non-users). As the push for MJ to enter the limelight strenghtens, the more opposition is felt, just as there is stronger support to the legalisation side.
  9. enquirewithin
    Much 'research' goes more or less the way the government want it to go. Funding is easier to come by that way.
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