Tue | Aug 22, 2017

NCDA again defends ganja study amid criticisms

Published:Sunday | April 9, 2017 | 4:11 PM

The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) has again defended its research that has become a point of controversy in recent weeks as ganja lobbyists question the veracity of its data.

A member of the Canabis Licencing Authority, Delano Seiveright and a letter writer to The Gleaner, Dr Victoria Wilson, had labelled as suspicious recent data from the agency showing an increase in students being referred for treatment since the removal of criminal penalties for use of two ounces or less of ganja. 

However, the NCDA today published a full page advertisement in The Sunday Gleaner defending the validity and reliability of its research.

It noted, for example, that the results from its school-based ganja treatment (counselling) programme, which has come under scrutiny, may have been showing increases for many reasons that could include an increase in the use of ganja since the removal of criminal penalties for use of two ounces or less. 

But it the agency said the increases could have also been due to increased public awareness of the NCDA's services following the removal of criminal penalties, and also amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act which require people to refer anyone under 18 caught using ganja.

The organisation has also defended data from other recent studies it published, including its National Secondary Schools Survey and National Household Survey.

It says that in its three-decade history, the organisation has partnered with regional and international organisations such as the Pan-American Health Organisation, World Health Organisation and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which have routinely provided it with technical support and funding.

The NCDA maintains that the evidence that it has published is both valid and reliable.