New Zealand Calls for Marijuana EducationDecember 22nd, 2008 by Perry
Citing rising medical costs as the primary reason, New Zealand officials are calling for more education against the dangers of cannabis, after the results of a recent government study were published.
The National Drug Intelligence Bureau report stated marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the country, and responsible for more than $30 million in medical bills. The country provides universal health care for all of its citizens, and said that a rise in the drug’s potency is part of the reason there was a 50-percent rise in in medical costs between 2004 and 2005.
One of the major findings of the study was that most of the hospital admissions were suffering from a psychotic disorder, followed by cannabis poisoning, harmful use, and dependence and acute intoxication.
As reported by the Dominion Post:
Bureau co-ordinator Detective Inspector Stuart Mills said the report provided the first big picture of cannabis’ harmful effects. We talk about methamphetamine, but here we can see the harm it causes with the number of hospital admissions caused solely by cannabis.
Here were a few of its key findings:
- weed-related hospital admissions outnumbered those for opiates, amphetamines and cocaine combined
- Maori (a native group) account for almost half of all cannabis-related admissions
- a quarter of all cannabis seized is linked to organized crime