DRUGS: News Weekly
Parents reject marijuana decriminalisation
, October 9, 2004
Australian Parents for Drug-Free Youth, a body committed to reducing the impact of drug abuse among young Australians, has rejected the proposed decriminalisation of marijuana for personal use, and the push to legalise marijuana for medical treatment.
Marijuana is Australia's most used illegal drug. 21 per cent of all Australians have tried it.
The organisation said, "All mood-altering drugs affect the process of chemical transmission in neuron networks. As drug and alcohol use becomes regular and abusive, the chemistry of the brain is increasingly distorted.Controlling impulses
"Distortion of the chemical process results in a number of specifically observable changes in the adolescent.
"The adolescent has trouble controlling impulses, thinking through a problem to a reasonable solution, getting new information into memory, recovering information already stored in memory, and new learning in general.
"In addition, the developing system of reasoning with reference to appropriate social behaviour, responsibility and moral behaviour is impaired to the point that it does not exist.
"Some of these basic forms of human thinking and behaving have been developed by the teenager in the process of maturation, and then are lost. Others are not developed because the chemical imbalance in the brain interferes with the chemistry of developing new neuron networks.
"When the young person stops use of drugs and drinking, it takes the chemistry of the brain many months to slowly recover normal balances. Attempts to treat it with medical drugs only perpetuate the imbalance."