Professor Wyane Hall, drugs advisor to the World Health Organization, highlights the dangers of cannabis.
The conclusion is: cannabis is highly addictive, causes mental health problems and opens the door to hard drugs.
The facts of a twenty year study on the consequences of cannabis us;
- one in six teenagers who regularly smoke the drug become dependent on it
- cannabis doubles the risk of developing psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia
- cannabis users do worse at school. Heave use in adolescence appear to impair intellectual development
- one in ten adults who regularly smoke the drug become dependent on it and those who use it are more likely to go on to use harder drugs
- driving after smoking cannabis doubles the risk a car crash, a risk which increases substantially if the driver has also had a drink
- smoking it while pregnant reduces the baby's birth weight.
- it is often harder to get people who are dependent on cannabis through withdrawal than for heroin
- those who try to stop taking cannabis often suffer anxiety, insomnia, appetite disturbance and depression
- long term use raises the risk of cancer, bronchitis and heart attack
The issue of cannabis is not about saving Police time as some politicians talk about. The issue of cannabis is a real problem that needs to be tackled as the problem that it is.
Allowing the free flow of cannabis will make matters worse. Countries that have relaxed legislation concerning cannabis are experiencing a steady increase of the number of people getting into serious difficulties and this is something that affects us all as a society.
Mental illness can also lead to violent behaviour and destroy families. When you are faced with the consequences of drug abuse seeing people close to you going downhill, you know that this is not a laughing matter nor an issue that be glossed up.
The damage done by drub abuse is cumulative. If somebody's capacity to relate to others is affected, if somebody's capacity to think is impaired, if somebody's behaviour becomes erratic to the point that he/she is a danger to himself/herself and to others, including members of his/her own family, we must put pressure on politicians to do what is right instead of doing what they think is 'convenient/modern'.