By Deborah Thomas
According to British Crime Survey, cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana is now the most widely used drug in the UK amongst 16 – 19 year olds and 20 – 24 year olds. This trend does create a concern, as more and more youths are getting high and consequently resulting to criminal activities to satisfy their addictions.
Cannabis legalisation support is fast becoming popular especially after seeing the large of windfall in tax revenues and bank profits in Colorado and Washington states in America. It is now the fastest growing industry in America.
There has been big push amongst campaigners in the UK for the government to legalise the usage. Current petition to UK Government and Parliament has garnered over 200,000 signatures qualifying this topic for a debate in Parliament. The possibility of bringing in £900m in taxes yearly and a possible savings of £400m on policing cannabis in the UK makes this a strong case.
Unfortunately as cools this is becoming, smoking cannabis comes with huge problems that could potentially create catastrophic damage to lives. Young ones are especially getting more addicted everyday because of the popular view that is light because it is made from plants.
Here are the problems with cannabis usage:
In the UK being caught smoking or possessing cannabis can get the culprit up to 5 years in prison.
Cannabis can make the user feel relaxed, creating a false sense of happiness and causing constant giggles. This can also bring with it disorientation, making concentration difficult. Cannabis slows down reflexes thereby reducing the users coordination.
Regular usage of cannabis sometimes makes the user paranoid, hallucinate; confused and hardcore users have actually ended up in mental health problems like schizophrenia.
Long Term Problem
Lowers sex drive and affects sperm counts in men
Dependence, leading to acute addiction.
We have to ask ourselves if we are prepared to live with the resulting consequences that may occur if cannabis / marijuana is legalised in the UK. In Colorado State in the US, the legalisation of this drug has been reported to cause several harmful effects. There are reports that there is a huge rise in drug related student suspensions /expulsion due to a higher number of students smoking cannabis. 25 to 45 percent drug arrests were marijuana alone. There has been an unprecedented rise in hospital emergency room for marijuana related problems.
Are we prepared for these possible problems? Revenues could be very attractive but what about the possible consequences of increased crime?
I am certain, majority do not want to see the British youths completely out of control due to drug use. With all the government cuts in our street policing numbers and NHS cuts, it’s hardly rocket science that UK is not prepared for this yet.
Perhaps it’s time for the campaigners think again.