Govt. To Impose
On Drug Heroin
State Cabinet decided yesterday to ban the sale, use, and possession of the drug heroin.
The ban will take effect from a date to be pro- claimed.
The Premier, Mr. Cahill, announced the decision last night.
He said the Prime Minis- ter, Mr. Menzies, had in- formed him in May last year that the Federal Government had banned the importation, of heroin.
This action followed a United Nations recommenda- tion.
[The World Health Organisa- tion decided last year that member States should abolish the importation and production of heroin.]
Mr. Cahill said that Mr. Menzies had suggested that each State Government should ban the use and possession of heroin when existing stocks were almost exhausted.
"A draft bill has been pre- pared which will enable action to be taken as desired by the Prime Minister," Mr. Cahill
"An additional provision has been incorporated which will enable the Government to take action by proclama- tion in respect of any other drug should similar action be necessary in future."
Heroin is a habit-forming sedative drug prepared from morphia.
Australians consume more
heroin per head of population than any other country except Finland.
The consumption of heroin in Australia rose from 5.321b per million people in 1946, to 11.351b in 1951.
The "Herald's" Medical
Correspondent said last night: "Heroin has been used freely for medical purposes in Aus-
"The pro rata consumption of the drug in Australia has been very high.
'It has been commonly used in soothing cough mixtures.
"Most doctors would agree that it can be replaced by other drugs.
"Heroin has similar uses to morphia as a pain relieving drug and in the past was pre- scribed in place of morphia.
"Nowadays there are a number of other pain reliev- ing drugs available."