Australia is celebrating the demise of the biggest prohibitionist, propaganda machine the country has ever seen. Goodbye, National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC), can’t say we’ll really miss you. Nor will we miss the mass-misinformation spouted by you over the past nine years. And we certainly won’t miss wasting over AU$3 million per year from the federal health budget on your lies. The soon-to-be former Director of the Centre, Jan Copeland, said, “Scientific-based information about Cannabis is vital in Australia right now”, and she’s right! Even more reason why the demise of the NCPIC is a good thing; fewer lies being fed to an unassuming mainstream, giving the actual facts about Cannabis a chance to filter through.
The pronouncement that the NCPIC is finished can be viewed as a very positive ‘U-turn’ by the federal government or as just another cost cutting exercise. Either way, it’s the best news the Australian Cannabis Community has had in a long time. Over the years, the NCPIC has been responsible for some of the most reprehensible lies ever perpetuated about Cannabis in Australia. The misinformation even went as far as promoting the idea that exposure to Cannabis was as dangerous as exposure to uranium or asbestos!
To assert that the Centre was providing evidence-based information, as Jan Copeland has, is a complete fabrication. The NCPIC, originally set-up with funds donated to the Australian Government by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, was designated with enforcing the Australian Government policy of preventing the spread of the use of Cannabis. The so-called health care professionals working for the NCPIC went on to waste even more tax-payer funds to purchase and promote a previously untried pharmaceutical for the purported ‘Cannabis Use Disorder’. Yes, that’s right, the NCPIC mooted using an untried, expensive, imported pharmaceutical to treat a ‘mental illness’ that doesn’t exist. That just about sums up what the NCPIC was all about.
During its nine years, the NCPIC complained often about those who would bash or make purported false claims about the Centre, whilst displaying a marked double-standard. The NCPIC employed ridicule of individual Cannabis activists as a tactic when unable to defend themselves against their own lack of science, which always drew into question their bone fides (good faith) on desiring serious dialogue and interaction with advocates and activists.
The NCPIC was responsible for peddling so much negative rubbish to primary school children in Victoria, for example, one school had to re-do the Cannabis information session to relay the actual benefits of Cannabis as a medicine after myriad complaints. Among the complainants was the mother of an intractable epilepsy sufferer who was eminently qualified to point out to the NCPIC that their information was false and that Cannabis ameliorates damage to otherwise pharmaceutically-damaged children.
Many Australian Cannabis Activists have been blocked and banned from the NCPIC facebook group and their online website for repeatedly trying to point out the truth. Good on you, and thank you for keeping it real, it shows your activist credibility to have been banned by Jan! After the 2015 National Cannabis Conference the HEMP Party came out and publicly slammed the NCPIC with Secretary, Andrew Kavasilas, saying, “The HEMP Party is all for freedom of the press, but they (NCPIC) should really try and report the truth, not polished propaganda … It shouldn’t still be up to us to highlight the half truths, cherry picked reviews, propaganda and empire building of the likes of NCPIC’s Dr Jan Copeland and her group of flat-earthers”.
If the Australian Government bothered to take the time and speak with those on the ground, those at the front-lines, using Cannabis therapeutically, instead of listening to academics and pharmaceutical companies with vested interests and dollar signs in their eyes, they could help so many suffering Australians and push this country to the fore-front of Cannabis discoveries. Bring on the unfettered research into the next great therapeutic use of the herbaceous, non-toxic plant known as Cannabis.