The Mental Health Minister is touting the success of a mandatory intervention program for cannabis users after revealing that 72 per cent of participants “considered” quitting the drug.
The figures were obtained through exit polling of program participants, but do not follow through to see if any of those who said they had “considered” quitting had actually done so.
But Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said it showed the program was “successful in raising awareness” about health and mental health risks associated with cannabis use.
“Using even a small amount of cannabis can increase your risk of mental health problems, including anxiety, panic attacks and schizophrenia,” Mrs Morton said.
“One in seven cannabis users report experiencing mental health problems.
“The risk increases the earlier you start and the more you use.”
Anyone caught with up to 10 grams of cannabis in WA is obliged to attend the cannabis intervention program, under the Cannabis Law Reform Act 2010.
More than 2600 people have gone through the program since it came into effect in August 2011.
This article first appeared on Perth Now on 30 April, 2014.