Australian Medical Association Opposes Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Bill

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is opposing a bill to legalize cannabis for adult use citing the potential for increased “health and social-related harms.” In its opposition letter, the organization says that while it supports decriminalization for personal use and raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14-years-old, it is concerned that “people may use recreational cannabis products to self-medicate when Australia already has an existing, high-quality process for assessing the safety, quality, and efficacy of therapeutic products through the [Therapeutic Goods Administration].” 

“The AMA believes that if cannabis was legalized for recreational purposes, it would indicate to the public that cannabis use is not harmful. However, the AMA recognizes that the current approach to cannabis regulation could be improved. The AMA believes that cannabis use should be treated first and foremost as a health issue instead of a criminal issue. The AMA supports the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s role in assessing the safety, quality, and efficacy of cannabis products for therapeutics purposes.” — AMA Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee – Legalizing Cannabis Bill 2023, Nov. 3, 2023 

The letter notes that “the absolute risk of harms associated with cannabis use is

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