Year 11 Student 6 Minute Speech to keep Cannabis Illegal

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The following is one of the winning speeches at recent Secondary School ‘speech contest’

“If I could recommend legalising something that would kill thousands of people, make 160,000 Australian suffer through schizophrenia and potentially cost our economy $30 billion every single year…with no benefit to anyone… do you think it would be a good idea?

I am sure all of you would agree that on the facts alone – it is a ridiculous idea.

But some politicians must have been smoking their own egos or something, and perhaps some parasitic drug dealers want to make their own occupation cannibalistic legal, in order to make more profit at the expense of people’s lives.

I’m talking about the question, should we legalise marijuana in Australia?  All the facts scream NO WAY.

Consider this.   According to the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal 80% of all schizophrenia cases are caused by smoking Marijuana.

Did you get that – 80% of all schizophrenia cases are caused by smoking Marijuana.

Does anyone know what Schizophrenia is like?

Lori Schiller has Schizophrenia — let me share how she describes her battle with it.

“Life seems dark, scary and fragmented. I battled strange, ominous Voices and Sights in a forever tormented day-to-day nightmare. I couldn’t get relief from my psychotic world. I wanted to die desperately in an effort to free myself from this world. The first time I heard those derogatory Voices was as a teenager. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I felt like I was possessed, and my mind was infected by demonic spirits. I was afraid to tell anyone about the Voices for fear of being carried off by the “white coats.” I kept hearing the words over and over again: “You must die. You will die.””

Why would we inflict this walking nightmare on anyone?… 80% of schizophrenia cases are linked to Marijuana.

But even for people who don’t develop schizophrenia – It’s really dangerous

The impact on public health is enormous.

According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, approximately 25,000 people are hospitalized every year due to Marijuana.

By smoking this drug, not only are you 5 times more likely to have a heart attack, but according to Jenny Williams, from the University of Melbourne, “Daily users of cannabis during adolescence are seven times more likely to attempt suicide!” This, of course, has a huge impact on families and communities.

While some people argue that marijuana is harmless but many do not realize that the cannabis used today is on average up to 40 times stronger than that used by Flower Power hippies of the 1960s.

Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says that 1 in 6 high school students who have smoked marijuana will become addicted.  It is also known as a “gateway drug” to cocaine and meth… drugs that kill and destroy almost everyone they touch.


People argue that by legalising marijuana, they will be able to regulate who gets the drug…to make sure that minors can’t get hold of it.

I disagree.  And so do the facts.

“Law does not establish a society. A society establishes and adheres to its laws.”

Simply making a new law doesn’t mean that there won’t be a black market or people breaking the law — but it does tell society what is best — and it sets a standard by which many people live.  If dangerous drugs remain illegal, people are more likely to realise it’s dangers.

Colorado example

However – when it comes down to the debate on legalising marijuana we can learn from the mistakes of those who have already legalised it.

In the US, there are two states that have fully legalised marijuana: Colorado and Washington.

Colorado fully legalised marijuana in 2012. The results have undoubtedly proved that legalising marijuana doesn’t work, while at the same time they have gotten themselves into a lot of trouble. Apparently in Colorado you have to be at least 21 years old to grow or purchase marijuana. But this hasn’t stopped or even slowed teenage use.  According to last month’s report by the Rocky Mountain HIDTA ” the number of teenagers using marijuana in Colorado is now nearly 50% above the national average. This is the same for college students. In fact 1 in 4 college students currently smokes marijuana in Colorado.”


Making it legal means more underage people are using it.

What is even more frightening is that hospitalisations related to marijuana have increased by 81% since it was legalised.

Total road fatalities by marijuana positive drivers have increased by over 100% since it’s legalisation in Colorado.

This hard science and reliable data clearly shows that the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has been a terrible public policy from every perspective.


As marijuana use increases here in Australia, we can expect intensified needs for health care and social services such as substance abuse treatment and child protective services.

Australia just can’t afford another drug to be legalised 0 tobacco costs Australia’s health system $31 billion dollars — Alcohol costs our health system $36 Billion. Marijuana already costs Australia 4.5 billion dollars as an illegal drug. Just imagine how much it would cost if it were legal? Some estimates put it over $40 Billion dollars….

When I see the pain endured by people with schizophrenia and think that 80% of its cases can be linked to marijuana — when I think of the road toll from users increasing by 100% when it was legalised… when I think of the cost to the economy, to families and to people’s lives… there is just no way anyone can reasonably believe that this could be good for society.

I feel however, that the issue is deeper than that. This is really a question of how we can live life fully. You decide.”

Z. Dettman — Grade 11 Victoria, Australia



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