Pubdate: Fri, 10 Feb 2006
Source: Territory Times (Australia)
Contact:  2005 Territory Times
Author: Robert Fyffe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


As a person who smokes pot on a regular basis, and has done for 
around 30 years now. As a person who has spent most of that time 
working, paying tax, and generally contributing to my community.

I have sat, and smoked, with people from all sectors of society, (not 
just the junkies the government would have us believe are the only 
face of drug use). I have shared smoke with judges/magistrates, 
police officers, members of the legal fraternity, doctors, 
politicians and even some ordinary honest people. All of these 
people, like myself, were (and are), ordinary working, tax paying 
Australians. But our Government would have those who know little or 
nothing about drugs, other than alcohol, that we are all dangerous 
and desperate junkies, prone to psychotic outbursts. What a load of rubbish.

Let the Government publicise the research papers showing the clear 
links between drug use and mental illness. I think they cannot, as 
all they have is the anecdotal evidence from the various community 
organisations who have to deal with the small percentage of drug 
users with a substance abuse problem. Substance abuse is a condition 
arising from deeper issues, that affects a small minority of drug 
users (and I include alcohol in all references to drugs). All the 
people I know who have a serious problem with drug abuse have been 
placed in that situation by the general, and mental, health systems. 
Having been treated for chronic pain with the highly addictive 
morphine, instead of non addictive non health threatening pure 
heroin. Or given overdoses of damaging amphetimines as children to 

It seems the Gov't would rather demonize a fairly large sector of the 
community (approx 30%) in those of us who enjoy using a substance 
other than alcohol for our recreation. Rather than render effective 
health services to those who have a substance abuse problem.

I simply cannot understand the current Government's stance on drug 
prohibition. I had hoped that the trend toward liberalism, that began 
in the seventies, would lead our governments to take a more mature 
approach to the issues of substance use as a social issue, and 
substance abuse as a health issue.

But it seems we'll be waiting a while longer yet before we see a 
Gov't with the intestinal fortitude required to deal responsibly (not 
hysterically) with the issue.

Robert Fyffe

Rapid Creek
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