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Listening to what Indigenous people in remote communities say about alcohol restrictions and cannabis use: “Good thing that the alcohol’s gone, but the gunja has kept going”

Alan R Clough, Cape York Cannabis Project Team
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (5): 275.

To the Editor: In Cape York Indigenous communities, alcohol restrictions started in 2002–2003, with local prohibition in some communities since 2008.1 These restrictions may have halved alcohol-related injuries,1 a historically important change.

Alan R Clough, Associate Professor
School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD.
Article References: 
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Margolis SA, Ypinazar VA, Muller R, Clough AR. Increasing alcohol restrictions and rates of serious injury in four remote Australian Indigenous communities. Med J Aust 2011; 194: 503-506.
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Australian Government. Stronger futures in the Northern Territory report on consultations October 2011. http://www.indigenous.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/consult_1710111.pdf (accessed Feb 2012).
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Gray DA. The Northern Territory Emergency Response and cannabis use in remote Indigenous communities [letter]. Med J Aust 2010; 192: 555.
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Clough AR, Cairney S, Maruff P, Parker R. Rising cannabis use in Indigenous communities [letter]. Med J Aust 2002; 177: 395-396.
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Hunter EM, Gynther BD, Anderson CJ, et al. Psychosis in Indigenous populations of Cape York and the Torres Strait. Med J Aust 2012; 196: 133-135.
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