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What is NCPIC for?
by Will Tregoning
on October 08, 2015

The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre's conference is on right now in Melbourne. (Follow the action on #cannabisconference15) You might be wondering to yourself, how did NCPIC get started, and what is it actually for?NCPIClogo.jpg?1444280035

Well, it was 2006 and John Howard’s Commonwealth government was on the slide. Christopher Pyne was practicing for his more recent performance, bungling in the dying days of an underperforming government.

That time round he was Minister for Health and Ageing. Illegal drugs were in his crosshairs. ‘The message that the Commonwealth thinks should be sent to the community’ wasn’t being sent and he wasn't happy about it. Take cannabis, for example.

‘I don't think any state right now has a perfect set of cannabis laws,’ he said. ‘We have to treat it as an illicit drug as dangerous as heroin, amphetamines or cocaine.’

At another point he called cannabis 'a poison’ that was ‘destroying our young people.’

Accordingly, in the 2006-7 Budget, $14 million was allocated to establishing a ‘National Cannabis Control and Prevention Centre’. Budget papers explained that

‘The centre will implement Government objectives under the National Cannabis Strategy. This strategy establishes national priorities for improving community understanding of the dangers of cannabis use and for preventing and responding to the use of cannabis and associated problems.’ (you can read the press release here)

Kevin was the man in 07, and in April 2008 Health Minister Nicola Roxon cut the ribbon on what was by then renamed ‘the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre’. It was established at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

Two years on, the Department of Health and Ageing asked an organization called Urbis to evaluate the performance of NCPIC.

‘The Centre is considered to be highly efficient’ they said after three months research, but ‘it is not clear why the activities conducted will make a difference.’

‘It would have been beneficial' they observed, 'for NCPIC to have undertaken further and stronger strategic planning at [the] initial stage, and then on a continuing basis.’

The consultants pointed the finger at the way the Centre had come about, explaining that

issues in relation to insufficient strategic planning are perhaps not surprising given the context in which NCPIC has come into existence and operated. The tender to run NCPIC was developed in a very short time frame… When NCPIC became fully operational… there was reportedly no strategic planning process… to reconsider whether what had been proposed in the tender was the right kind and mix of activities

Early in 2015 (when this report was not yet public) I became curious about NCPIC and via Facebook I asked them whether the Centre had been evaluated. They said it had been evaluated so I asked what objectives it was evaluated against. ‘As it was an external review,’ I was told, ‘We don't actually know.’

'Sorry, can't help you on that front,' they said when I asked for a copy of the evaluation report. It was 'being used in ongoing decision-making processes’ and so 'had not been made available yet (even to us)’.

That didn’t sound like a great situation, especially five years after the report was written. So using the Right to Know website, I made a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Health and Ageing. For your pleasure, you may now download the report yourself right here (It's called Report 1)

Let’s hope that strategic planning process gets underway soon.


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just another excuse to keep a lot of people employed in a well paid job, and then pay the people who have to evaluate how the system is goin, lookin at the number of people on this site makes me think their system is fucked.

Agreed. just another waste of time, lone ranger set up government body to regulate..... well,nothing factual. Fat cat money grabbing uneducated, tax paying bullshit....sigh.......

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If you want to get a idea of how Jan Copland functions and her mindset. Have a read of Page 18 through 26. She in an embarrassment to objective science and a compassionate health system.
I have posted this long ago, but there are a lot of new people around.
I found this since I was looking for my doctors submission, Prof Cousins ( real Prof) who is giving evidence before Jan.
Enjoy page 18 to 26
Also this is an extract  from her written submission and mentioned in committees final report.

Committee Report
Similarly, Professor Copeland who was otherwise very careful not to support the liberalisation
of current arrangements, saw that for a very targeted group, a compassionate approach could
be justified:


I think for that group who are in palliative care and who are not getting relief from the
mainstream medications or even from Sativex-type preparations whose only
psychological relief because they strongly believe that smoked cannabis is the thing
that works for them, I think having some kind of compassionate scheme where that is
used as an excuse if you like—I cannot imagine people want to prosecute people in
that situation. If there is some way legally to have that as an exemption for that small
group, I think no normal person would want to take that option away from people.
But, as a general cause, I think if cannabinoids are going to be made available they
should be in pharmaceutical preparations where there is a known dose and no
impurities. 331

Edited by Husky
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But, as a general cause, I think if cannabinoids are going to be made available they

should be in pharmaceutical preparations where there is a known dose and no

impurities. 331


The system was rigged to end up with cannabinoids being purified and mixed in laboratories by chemists who can assure a standardized dose from the get go.  Politicians all knew this so when the public asked for a medicinal system like America's politicians fueled flames by saying no to defacto legalisation like that and bided their time until it became a matter of pressuring them over the children.  Like how dare they deny kids life saving treatment when the medicine can be made to not get them high or anything like that?  We're forcing their hands while supporting the continued war on drugs because at least then the kids get their medicine.  No parent in a legal environment would trust their child's health to a street gang when a pharmaceutical company can provide the medicine they need and no Australian government will ever recognize the need for patients to be self sufficient or for that matter consuming the drug via any other means other the authorized drop under the tongue either.  It won't matter that we could supply a more personalised product and treat ourselves better than they ever could, Australia will have got the medicinal cannabis it asked for and anything different is a narcotic which can only be abused.


I had a quick read over of some of the papers and it seems like the group wants to be the central authority for cannabis in Australia.  They want to fund the studies, host support lines, provide training to people employed in the alcohol and other drugs fields, try to talk to youth about the dangers of drug use, etc. and on paper they're doing their job but it's been seen as extremely ineffective.  They're known to exist to people already in drug treatment programs and the like because they're forced to know due to the government buying a ton of bullshit like pens and mouse pads as well as a few spots in the media like magazines and some radio time but they're having no impact in their aims at all really.  Their help line for example cost hundreds of dollars per call with a total of 15 minutes on average per call and the majority of callers were just women in their 30s having a sook about their partner's drug use which for a cannabis specific hotline is more sad than laughable because those poor ladies must have completely lost their senses of smell, eyesight, etc. when they were still young and innocent and their partners monsters for taking advantage of them like that lol  People have said that they did a really good job especially with the staff training and things like that but even then it was absurdly expensive and they recommended outsourcing the training to other states to save costs so even when they do something right it's mostly just a waste of time and money for everyone involved.


In the end they basically said that short of throwing a ton of money at them they can't really make much of an impact at all and even with the money they can't ever win as us die hards will go to the grave with our lungs filled with smoke.  They also said that they're essentially the only people other than politicians that want to treat cannabis seriously alongside other drugs because to everyone else it's just weed.  So I think they full well know they're a waste of money that solely exists so politicians can say they're fighting the war on drugs and nothing more.  If not they're more delusioned than I imagined lol

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I should stay away from the NCPIC site... they way they go on about drugs and mental health you'd think cannabis are a really big risk to the metal well being of young people... so to balance things up I went over to the Orygen, Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and had a look at where cannabis lies in their research priorities... nonexistent.


"Drug abuse" was listed as a research interest of only a single member of the research leaders (a group of 20 with at least a phd each). And NCPIC doesn't appear to partner anywhere... I suppose it's a bit at crossed purposes seeing as Orygen is about research rather than just pushing a barrow.

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