The next public forum hosted by local think-tank the Newcastle Institute will look beyond the hype, and consider the facts, about two types of drugs.

Every week there seem to be a new story claiming that marijuana has benefits in a wide variety of diseases, and should be legalised for medical use.  Already the State Government is responding to community pressure, and changing the law.

But what is the reality?  Professor Jennifer Martin, the Doctor leading a team of researchers at Newcastle University studying medical use of marijuana, will speak at the public forum. Looking at the science, she is sceptical.  “There seems to be a sudden rush to make it available, as if the evidence to use it was newly available and overwhelmingly good. Sadly, none of this is a reality”, she says.

Professor Martin will talk about the research currently being undertaken. “It is possible that we will find some extract from the plant with benefits for some specific medical conditions.  But this will take time.”

She is also concerned about over-enthusiastic promotion of unconventional therapies.  “It may lead to unrealistic hopes that are then dashed.  Worse, it may divert patients from evidence-based therapies that may have less mystique and glamour, but have been shown to work.”

Still on the theme of drugs, the Forum will also hear from Dr Tarun Yadav, a psychiatrist working with Hunter New England Health, about the myths and realities of the ‘Ice Epidemic’.  How bad is the epidemic?  And just how bad is Ice, compared to previous drug epidemics, such as Cocaine or Heroin? What are the myths, and what are the facts?

The forum is open to the interested public, and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. There is no need to book.  We request a $5 donation on entry to assist us to cover venue hire costs.

What?     Public Forum:-  Drug Myths and Realities:-  Medical Marijuana and Ice
When?    6.00 – 7.30pm, Wednesday 17th August 2016
Where?  Souths Leagues Club, Merewether
Who?      Open to the general public. Admission $5 donation
Drug Myths and Realities: Medical Marijuana, and Ice
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