October 9th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

ELECTION 2004: Will Labor, Liberal big-spending promises swing voters?

EDITORIAL: Election auction ignores the real challenge

NATIONAL PARTY: John Anderson accused of misleading voters

EDUCATION: Behind Labor's church school 'hit list'

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The outlaw seas and international terrorism / Renaissance of Australian unionism?

FEDERAL ELECTION: Major parties gag candidates

BIOETHICS: Embryo research and the tooth fairy

MEDICINE: Coma arousal therapy: Dr Ted Freeman's treatment for PVS patients

DRUGS: Parents reject marijuana decriminalisation

AGEING: Wanted: Loving family to adopt 'granddad au pair'

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: End the UN political stand-off against Taiwan

CHINA: Hong Kong elections a clear win for democracy

INDIA: Secularism an absolute necessity for India

POLITICAL IDEAS: Ten principles of a property-owning democracy

Taiwan's exclusion from UN unjustified (letter)

Australia needs infrastructure (letter)

Time for men's policy (letter)

BOOKS: ANTI-AMERICANISM, by Jean-François Revel

BOOKS: THE EMPTY CRADLE, by Phillip Longman

Books promotion page

Parents reject marijuana decriminalisation

News Weekly, 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."

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