EDITORIAL: 21 August 2020 – Alcohol is more harmful than cannabis

A non-binding referendum on the legalisation of cannabis will be held in conjunction with the general election on 19 September 2020.

Although many New Zealanders have consumed cannabis there is a much greater familiarity with alcohol as a recreational drug to the extent that a lot of people don’t even think of alcohol as a psychoactive drug.

Unfortunately only subscribers will be able to read the full piece at the link below . Compared to some of the gumph coming out of Australian “research bodies” at the moment this is a breath of fresh air



Here’s some background on the author

Professor J. Douglas Sellman

Doug SellmanProfessor


Doug Sellman has been working in the addiction treatment field since 1985.

He has been Director of the National Addiction Centre, Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences since its inception in 1996 and Professor within the University of Otago since 2006.

His clinical work since 1994 has been as consultant psychiatrist to the alcohol and drug stream of the Youth Specialty Service in Christchurch.


Sellman, D., Adamson, S., Foulds, J., Beaglehole, B., & Mulder, R. (2019). Another government ignores a recommendation to strengthen alcohol regulations. New Zealand Medical Journal132(1498), 7-9. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Deering, D. E. A., Adamson, S. J., Sellman, J. D., Henderson, C., Sheridan, J., Pooley, S., … Noller, G., & Frampton, C. M. A. (2018). Potential risk for fatal drug overdose perceived by people using opioid drugs. Drug & Alcohol Review37(S1), S309-S313. doi: 10.1111/dar.12635

Amer Nordin, A. S., Adamson, S. J., & Sellman, J. D. (2018). Food addiction does not explain weight gain in smoking cessation. Journal of Smoking Cessation13(2), 59-62. doi: 10.1017/jsc.2017.4

Ford, K., Foulds, J., Coleman, O., Ardagh, M., Pearson, S., Droste, N., Newton-Howes, G., & Sellman, J. D. (2018). Alcohol-related emergency department attendances after the introduction of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. New Zealand Medical Journal131(1483), 40-49. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Sellman, D., & Connor, J. (2018). Why is alcohol in the government’s ‘too hard basket’? New Zealand Medical Journal131(1479), 8-10. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Source:  https://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/departments/psychmed/people/doug-sellman.html

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