Cannabis is a plant which was used as a medicine in Australia. It is known as a cannabinoid drug. There are other names for Cannabis like Marijuana, yarndi, gunja, dope, etc. (Cohen, 2002, p.7). Initially it was used a medicine in Australia but then, it was used as a drug. Australian population is one the highest populations to use cannabis on a daily basis. It used as an illegal drug in Australia. Although there are strong policies against the illegal use of cannabis, the young generation is more into it. Therefore, this report aims to study the nature, history and use of cannabis in Australia. The report will examine the specific drug by using different sources in context of Australia.
Description of Cannabis
Cannabis is usually referred to the dried leaves, flowers, seeds and the stem of the Plant Cannabis sativa. It is mostly known as marijuana. The drugs abusers use different techniques to take it and mostly it is taken to smoke it. It is taken like a cigarette but it is also inhaled in a form of vapor (Lafaye, Karila, Blecha and Benyamina, 2017, p. 309). Some of the drug abused individuals take candies made by using the oil of cannabis. It is also absorbed into the skin through an injection. Excessive use of cannabis is not healthy it effects every body organ. Mostly it effects the nerve cells of the brain. The forms of cannabis vary from each other. Marijuana is the common drug among cannabis family and it is made from dried flowers and the heads of the pant. Its color varies from greenish-brown to grey-green. The second form of cannabis is Hashish and it dried in small blocks. All the blocks have different colors ranging from light brown to black. The third form of cannabis is hash oil it is the oil extract from Hashish (Lafaye e. al, 2017, p.309). Hash Oil is intake with the help of cigarette paper. It is more potent than other form of cannabis. In the modern world, a drug is synthesized which has same effects as cannabis. It is also available in Australia. A chemical is released when cannabis is consumed. Likewise, the synthetic cannabis is designed to give the same effects and activate the same chemical substance in the human brain. Moreover, there is another type of cannabis i.e. Medicinal Cannabis. It is prescribed by a doctor to treat some illnesses in the human body. There is a chemical named THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) in cannabis, which makes a person feel high (Kelly and Nappe, 2018). It travels through the blood stream to the brain. As a result, the normal functioning of brain gets stopped and causes some hallucinogenic effects.
Psychoactive Effects of Cannabis
If a person has previous symptoms of psychotic, then usage of cannabis make it worsen. If a person has a family history of psychosis, cannabis can bring those symptoms to a person. There is a condition known as drug-induced psychosis which is caused by cannabis. The symptoms of psychosis quickly develop but take time to wear off (Swift, Hall and Copeland, 2000, pp.309-318). These symptoms can be like the memory problems, incomprehension and delusions. In case, people ae having schizophrenia then the effects will be long lasting and more penetrating. Usually, cannabis is considered as a depressant drug but it does not mean that it makes you depressed. It slows done the nervous system and along with the brain throughout the body. However, the impacts of this drug vary person to person. The impact also varies with the mood and the environment where the person consumes it. When a person gets effected by cannabis, he or she feels relaxation, loss self-consciousness, low concentration and reduced memory, increased heart beats and the drowsiness (Marlatt, 2006, n.p). Moreover, the appetite also increases and a person starts talking a lot. There are feelings of anxiety and distrust. If drug is taken in larger doses, it causes misperception, impatience, thrilled, illusions, fear, biliousness, psychosis and detachment from the reality.
When the psychosis of a person gets worsen, it minimizes the chances of recovery for that person. People with this illness who practice drugs use to have more delusions, hallucinations. When they are having the symptoms of psychosis there is no chance of recovery for such people. Therefore, people who are already having the symptoms psychotic illness should not use cannabis.
Some studies have proved that cannabinoid acts a balancing agent and it as a result regulates the other psychoactive agent THC (Hall and Degenhardt, 2004, pp.89-100). Cannabinoids also contain di-methyl-pyran ring which effects the neurological processes of the brain by making to follow the specific protocol. Cannabinoids are fat soluble substances and these are stored in fats of human body.
A brief history of Cannabis
Cannabis was arrived in Australia in 1788 on the request of the Sir Joseph Banks and it was intended for the trade and commerce. The colonial rulers were hoping to produce cannabis in Australia for the commercial purpose. During all those years the Government of Australia supported the production of cannabis in Australia. As a result, by 19th century the consumption of cannabis was extensive in Australia (Coffey, Carlin, Degenhardt, Lynskey, Sanci and Patton, 2002, pp.187-194). Initially, it was used as a popular medicine. Moreover, many fiction books were written on Cannabis at that time. By late 19th century cannabis cigarettes were introduced and these were considered as cure for asthma, cough, influenza and other respiratory system related diseases. Likewise, by 1920s Australian nation learned that cannabis usage is an issue not a cure. This was the time that Australia decided to ban the open use of cannabis.
However, there was a very limited research in Australia regarding the opium usage but it applied the prohibition model in Australia. Although most of the prohibited laws in Australia were related other drugs, the United Kingdom pressurized the Australian government to launch some local laws against the consumption of cannabis. It was one of the important social issues of Australia, so drug control laws were introduced the country both state and federal level. The Federal and state level governments introduced penalties for over dosage of drugs (Crippa et al., 2009, pp.515-523). It was 1938 that different news was started coming on newspaper regarding Cannabis. At the same time, campaigns were held to spread the awareness about the drug.
Later on 1960s era shows that there was an increase use of different drugs during the wars. During this period many of the Australian states started penalizing drugs. The Australian government also support to the war on drugs in different countries of the western world like the United States. Likewise, the 1970 era was difficult for Australia because the youth unemployment increased in the country. It further increased the drugs consumption among the young generation. The social inconsistencies emerged from the prohibition of drugs and people came out on the roads. They were openly smoking on the roads as a result police forces came out to intervene. Most of the people were thrown into jails for not following the laws and orders. However, in 1985 the Australian government started introducing the National level campaign against drug consumption (Coffey, 2002, pp.187-194). At the same time, the general public was assessed for the illegal usage of drugs. By 1994 the Australian National Task Force on Cannabis felt that there are more side effects of cannabis prohibition as compared to the consumption cannabis. A team was formed to research on the drug consumption and the council on drug strategy. However, in 1994 this task force fulfilled its duty and submitted the findings to the government.
By 2000s different researches were conducted on the drugs consumption and they came up with different implications for the government. The surveys and polls conducted have shown that the usage of cannabis is increased after the drugs illegalized (Coffey, 2002, pp.187-194). It is further increasing and the government policies are not achieving the results for which those were made. Moreover, different polls conducted in Australia also show that the majority of the public wants cannabis to be legalized by the government.
Criminalization of Cannabis in Australia
There are Federal and state laws in Australia which are responsible for penalties for using, selling and buying cannabis or who are responsible the supply of cannabis. At the same time, there are also different laws which prohibit the usage of bong and other smoking equipment. Australia is also a member of an international treaty to control drugs. The sign convention on Narcotic Drugs prohibits the production and shipment any of the drugs without a license for Medical usage and research purposes.
The majority of population in Australia is involved in drug abuse and the over usage of cannabis increases the health related issues and risks. It has been also identified that a specific group of public is more consuming cannabis. Moreover, the youth and people who are having psychosis. Under the Commonwealth National Illicit has given a report to direct the policies regarding cannabis and other drugs. All the findings are being provided for the research and program development regarding the drugs. However, there is no any funding for cannabis related issues (Aph.gov.au, 2019). One of the latest approaches by the Australian government is to invest on the people who are already into the drugs. Rehabilitation programs are also running to overcome the risk factors.
Age group which is mostly effected in Australia
It is already told that cannabis the illegal drug which is used in majority in Australia. According the parliamentary report about 39 percent of the population about 14 years were using cannabis 1998 (Aph.gov.au, 2019). It was 39 initially but then it increased 10 . According the same report, it makes 60 of the young generation of age group between 14 to 29 years.
The overuse of cannabis has increased accidental deaths in Australia and the people who were using cannabis were increased from 29 to 34 in 2016 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019). Most of the time it is the young generation of Australia who is into drugs.
In conclusion, cannabis is a plant which was used as a medicine in Australia. It is known as a cannabinoid drug. Initially it was used a medicine in Australia but then, it was used as a drug. Australian population is one the highest populations to use cannabis on a daily basis. Excessive use of cannabis is not healthy it effects every body organ. Moreover, it effects the nerve cells of the brain. There are different forms cannabis. Marijuana is the common drug among the cannabis family and it is made from dried flowers and the heads of the patient. If a person has previous symptoms of psychotic, then usage of cannabis make it worsen. A person with a family history of psychosis, using cannabis can bring those symptoms to that person.
The drug -induced psychosis is caused by cannabis. When the psychosis of a person gets worsen, it minimizes the chances of recovery for that person. People with this illness who practice drugs use to have more delusions, hallucinations. Cannabis was arrived in Australia in 1788, on the request of the Sir Joseph Banks. By late 19th century cannabis cigarettes were introduced and these were considered as cure for asthma, cough, influenza and other respiratory system related diseases. Likewise, by 1920s Australian nation learned that cannabis usage is an issue not a cure. Later on 1960s era shows that there was an increase use of different drugs during the wars. During this period many of the Australian states started penalizing drugs. Moreover, different polls conducted in Australia also show that the majority of the public wants cannabis to be legalized by the government. Moreover, the youth and people who are having psychosis. Under the Commonwealth National Illicit has given a report to direct the policies regarding cannabis and other drugs. Most of the time it is the young generation of Australia who is into drugs. It some effective policies to control the usage of drug between people.
Aph.gov.au. (2019). A Critical Overview of Australian Approaches to Cannabis Parliament of Australia . online Available at HYPERLINK https//www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamen https//www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamen tary_Library/pubs/rp/rp0102/02RP06 Accessed 23 Feb. 2019.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Alcohol, tobacco other drugs in Australia, Cannabis - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. online Available at HYPERLINK https//www.aihw.gov.au/reports/phe/221/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs- https//www.aihw.gov.au/reports/phe/221/alcohol-tobacco-other-drugs- australia/contents/drug-types/cannabis Accessed 23 Feb. 2019.
Coffey, C., Carlin, J.B., Degenhardt, L., Lynskey, M., Sanci, L. and Patton, G.C., 2002. Cannabis dependence in young adults an Australian population study. Addiction, 97(2), pp.187-194.
Cohen, P., 2002. Drugs and Society-Australia, the Netherlands and the USA. Sydney Papers, The, 14(1), p.7.
Crippa, J.A., Zuardi, A.W., Martn Santos, R., Bhattacharyya, S., Atakan, Z., McGuire, P. and Fusar Poli, P., 2009. Cannabis and anxiety a critical review of the evidence. Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental, 24(7), pp.515-523.
Hall, W. and Degenhardt, L., 2004. Is there a specific cannabis psychosis. Marijuana and madness psychiatry and neurobiology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.89-100.
Kelly, B.F. and Nappe, T.M., 2018. Toxicity, Cannabinoids.
Lafaye, G., Karila, L., Blecha, L. and Benyamina, A., 2017. Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 19(3), p.309.
Marlatt, G.A., 2006. Cannabis dependence its nature, consequences and treatment. Cambridge university press.
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