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Cape York Cannabis Project



The Cape York Cannabis Project was facilitated by James Cook University (JCU), and aimed to work with remote communities in Cape York, Queensland (Qld) to reduce the demand of cannabis. This project differed from the Weed it Out project, run by the Qld Police Service, which focused on cannabis supply reduction. The Cape York Cannabis Project focused on community concerns for health, family, or work, rather than dealers or supply. This project was active in three communities.

The JCU Cannabis Team confidentially interviewed men and women over 16 years old on their cannabis use. A set of questions were asked regarding their use:

These stories were then given back to the community through use of flipcharts and yarning with community members, Elders, young people, council, and services. This aims to help the community make important decisions about health support, education, and other services.

Key people and service providers are encouraged to develop community-based strategies to support people quitting, and stop people wanting to start using. By the end of 2012, the JCU Team will ask to interview the same individuals a second time, to see if there have been any changes in cannabis use.

Throughout this project, there was no information exchange and minimal contact with police. The Cape York Cannabis Project teams supports the Weed it Out initiative, but does not supply the Qld Police Service with information about individuals interviewed.

Abstract adapted from James Cook University


Professor Alan Clough
Discipline of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
James Cook University
Ph: (07) 4042 1604

Related publications

Bohanna I, Clough AR (2012)

Cannabis use in Cape York Indigenous communities: high prevalence, mental health impacts and the desire to quit.

Drug and Alcohol Review; 31(4): 580–584

Cape York Cannabis Project artwork posters (2010)

Cape York Cannabis Project

This set of posters was created as part of the Cape York Cannabis Project and the Weed it Out initiative, produced by the Queensland Police Service and James Cook University.

The four posters offer an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective on the impact of cannabis use in their communities and on their culture.

Abstract adapted from National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre

Dowie M, Hunter G, Clough A (2009)

Queensland Police Service (QPS) and James Cook University (JCU) ‘Weed it out' project “Reducing the harms associated with cannabis use in Indigenous communities of Cape York and the Torres Straits”.

Paper presented at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2009. 1-4 November 2009, Darwin

Queensland Police Service, James Cook University (2009)

Weeding out cannabis in the Far North.

Police Bulletin; (336): 28-29


Last updated: 2 August 2017
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