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Rehab charity says State should study addiction, not legalise cannabis

Drug rehab charity OASI Foundation says perception that only heroin is harmful drug use, is misleading in missive against legalisation of cannabis

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
31 October 2017, 12:39pm
The drug rehab charity OASI Foundation has again reinforced its opposition to the legalisation of cannabis, saying the government was ignoring the reasons behind first-time drug usage.

OASI, which runs a drug rehabilitation course for addicts, said that the government should be proactive in understanding why young people were choosing “escapism” through drugs.

“The Education, Health and Social Ministries should therefore take up their responsibilities and truly lead by example to divert and invest their resources…  towards understanding the reasons behind such a thoughtless use of uncontrolled mood-altering substances simply to get an artificial good feeling in their lives.”

OASI said legalisation of cannabis would be interpreted by users that there is no harm in doing marijuana.

“Society has the responsibility to protect persons from myriad forms of poverty which cannabis can lead to. This should be done also, out of justice towards those who work and strive so hard to sustain our present and future generations through their vocational profession and their financial contributions towards the coffers of the state.”

OASI said the recreational usage of cannabis was being excused in favour of medical cannabis, but said the rationale was a perilous one.

“OASI Foundation’s concern relates to the negative health effects steps to unrestrained legalized mood-altering substances may have on our children’s future quality of life and that of our society at large,” the NGO said.

Instead, OASI said it wants debate from professionals and research to lead any discussions on legalisations.

It also said that legalisation would intensify the downward spiral of addiction. “Professionals in this field have had to deal with too many persons who, in their pre or early teens, started off smoking nicotine and consuming alcohol – both legal drugs – to end up taking a downward spiral into addiction, ruining their lives, that of their families and affecting society at large. Legalizing cannabis will intensify further this downward spiral.”

It said that with smoking and alcohol also being severely discouraged today, it would be foolish to legalise another mood altering substance.

“We at OASI are aware of the misleading perception and mind-set that, as long as a person does not make use of heroin, there is no harm done in smoking cannabis or doing a line of cocaine every now and then.

“Therefore, the false justification follows, as cannabis does not kill physically, there is no harm done in its free use. Notwithstanding all this, it is common knowledge that smoking cannabis kills emotions and feelings towards oneself and others and thus risks the well-being of the user and society at large.” 

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.