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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Cape York cannabis project

 

Overview

The Cape York cannabis project is facilitated by James Cook University (JCU), and aims to work with remote communities in Cape York, Queensland (Qld) to reduce the demand of cannabis. This project differs from the Weed it out project, run by the Qld Police Service, which focuses on cannabis supply reduction. The Cape York cannabis project focuses on community concerns for health, family, or work, rather than dealers or supply. This project is active in three communities - which will not be named in any media or academic publication - and has the potential to help other remote communities with similar issues around cannabis use.

The JCU Cannabis Team confidentially interview men and women over 16 years old on their cannabis use. A set of questions are asked regarding their use:

These stories are then given back to the community through use of flipcharts and yarning with community members, Elders, young people, council, and services. This aims to help the community make important decisions about health support, education, and other services.

Key people and service providers are encouraged to develop community-based strategies to support people quitting, and stop people wanting to start using. By the end of 2012, the JCU Team will ask to interview the same individuals a second time, to see if there have been any changes in cannabis use.

Throughout this project, there is no information exchange and minimal contact with police. The Cape York cannabis project teams supports the Weed it out initiative, but does not supply the Qld Police Service with information about individuals interviewed.

Abstract adapted from James Cook University

Contacts

Melissa Kirk
Research Worker, Cannabis Team
James Cook University
Ph: (07) 4042 1614
Email: melissa.kirk@jcu.edu.au

Inspector John Fox
Cultural Advisory Unit
Queensland Police Service
Ph: (07) 3364 6787
Email: fox.johnj@police.qld.gov.au

Associate Professor Alan Clough
Discipline of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
James Cook University
Ph: (07) 4042 1604
Email: alan.clough@jcu.edu.au

Related publications

Bohanna I, Clough AR (2012)

Cannabis use in Cape York Indigenous communities: high prevalence, mental health impacts and the desire to quit.

Drug and Alcohol Review; 31(4): 580–584

Cape York Cannabis Project artwork posters (2010)

Cape York Cannabis Project

This set of posters was created as part of the Cape York cannabis project and the Weed it out initiative, produced by the Queensland Police Service and James Cook University. The four posters offer an Indigenous perspective on the impact of cannabis use in their communities and on their culture.

Abstract adapted from National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre

Dowie M, Hunter G, Clough A (2009)

Queensland Police Service (QPS) and James Cook University (JCU) ‘Weed it out' project “Reducing the harms associated with cannabis use in Indigenous communities of Cape York and the Torres Straits”.

Paper presented at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2009. 1-4 November 2009, Darwin

Queensland Police Service, James Cook University (2009)

Weeding out cannabis in the Far North.

Police Bulletin; (336): 28-29

Links

 
Last updated: 2 June 2014
 
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