By Hamish Clark
A cannabis bus has arrived in Christchurch, offering free marijuana for those stressed out by the quake.
Many people struggling with addictions to alcohol and nicotine have already relapsed, and an addiction specialist says offering free drugs will do more harm in the long run.
Offering illegal drugs in the name of medicine; the bus load of marijuana is to be given away to the needy.
“We have come to Christchurch to provide some stress relief for Christchurch,” says Cannabis Club spokesman Dakta Green.
“There have been a number of calls to our people from medical uses of cannabis. There are a great number of people who are highly stressed in Christchurch, so what better than to have a smoke and a chill out.”
But addiction specialist Professor Doug Sellman says taking recreational drugs is only going to make things worse.
He says be it drugs, alcohol, nicotine or food addiction, up to 80 percent of people with addictions will struggle.
“The majority will at least undergo some form of relapse, if not full-blown relapse of their addictive behaviour,” says Mr Sellman.
For police, alcohol abuse is the major issue in the suburbs, with domestic violence numbers of the rise.
“Where there have been natural disasters overseas, six month afterwards family violence spikes up and that was the trend we were seeing in Christchurch when this earthquake struck. So the real risk is families turning on one another,” says Canterbury District Commander, Superintendent Dave Cliff.
“Here we are dealing with one of New Zealand’s biggest disasters, so it’s understandable that people will struggle,” says Mr Sellman.
As life slowly returns to normal, only then will those who have relapsed be able to get back on the wagon.