Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fiji is Major Drug Source

Fiji Times - Saturday, March 20, 2010

FIJI is the source of cannabis to many Pacific Island nations.

According to a report by the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) Fiji is known as a cannabis-producing country, with many other PICTs reporting Fiji as the source of their locally consumed cannabis.

The study said cannabis cultivation and use were well established in Fiji, with police reporting schoolchildren below 10 years of age caught selling drugs as early as 2001.

"They reported children frequenting amusement centres and selling drugs during schools hours while wearing their school uniforms," the study revealed.

"Police also noted children were being used to traffic drugs.

"At the same time market vendors were also arrested and charged with being in possession of dangerous drugs, in addition to cultivation of cannabis as a cash crop."

The council said the persistence of such motivators for cultivation was supported by data collected by the Fiji School of Medicine and Burnet Institute in late 2008 to early 2009, which included focus group discussions with cannabis growers.

"Given the current climate of hardship in Fiji, due to internal troubles and external economic pressures, it is likely these pressures will persist and that cannabis use will remain a police focus," the study said.

Meanwhile the National reported that of 178 outpatients treated at Saint Giles Psychiatric Hospital, 107 were treated for conditions associated with marijuana use.

For 2006, the NSAAC reported that there were 180 admissions to St Giles Hospital associated with marijuana use.

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