Source: The Mercury, 18 February, 1997, p.4
LONG-TERM cannabis users ran a heightened risk of res- piratory problems and depen- dence on the drug but were an otherwise unremarkable seg- ment of the population, a new study has found. A world-first study of 268 long-term cannabis users was carried out on the New South Wales north coast by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. One of the study's authors, David Reilly of the Northern Rivers Health Service, said yesterday the most remark- able finding was that long- term cannabis users were not that different from the rest of society. "The exceptional thing is that the respondents are un- exceptional ... these people on these indicators, are not that different from the north- coast and general popu- lations," he said. The study showed that long- term cannabis users had a greater incidence of respirat ory problems, but a large proportion (64% ) were also tobacco smokers, he said. The average age of those who participated in the study was 36 years, the median length of cannabis use was 19 years.
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