Cannabis…and the impact on education and our children

It has been reported that cannabis smoking is a problem in many of our secondary schools in Britain. Parents of teenagers must worry about the other young people their precious children may meet at school and whether they will be influenced by their behaviour and unsavoury habits.

In more liberal cities it is fashionable to advocate legalising cannabis expressing the old attitudes and beliefs that the drug is less harmful to our bodies and our minds than alcohol because it is natural and herbal.

I don’t believe this to be true. I think most people who take cannabis have anger issues, emotional upsets and this can have a huge negative impact on mental health. Why would we want our young people to think it was okay?

This Oxford University study lays bare the terrifying truth about cannabis. It makes chilling reading.

It states that about 60,000 young Britons suffer from depression caused by taking the pernicious class B narcotic as teenagers and is attributed to people in their teens, early 20s and 30s taking the drug during adolescence. Used by teenagers under the age of eighteen can result in life-long depression affecting their quality of life long into adulthood and beyond, impacting across all areas of their lives.

The author of the report Professor Andrea Cipriani said some parents had a relaxed attitude to the drug but the evidence was clear – it can have a devastating impact. The Professor said ‘regular use during adolescence is associated with lower achievement at school, addiction, psychosis and neuropsychologic decline and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.

Even though cannabis is banned its pungent stink permeates our streets. I am constantly coming across it locally and across London as I go about my day-to-day business, both as a professional and when socialising. It makes me feel sick.

I went to an event in London last week which cost me £55.00 as the subject matter related to astrology interested me and the girl leading the event, probably in her twenties, is someone I follow on YouTube so I was excited to see her speak and meet her. She was visiting the UK from the United States. I understand she also lives in Denmark where attitudes are perhaps a bit more relaxed. She happened to sit next to me and the smell hit me. She stank of it. So it is obvious it is a drug widely used amongst young people and they become dependent on it. She openly referred to it and kept having breaks so she could smoke it. Call me old-fashioned but I was shocked.

Some children as young as fifteen are using the drug weekly/monthly in some cases daily depending on where they live and how easy it is to get hold of it. As this age is a particularly vulnerable period of development – physically, emotionally and intellectually – the long-term effects can be totally life-changing and life-debilitating.

It’s often linked to gangs and drug addicts so a soft approach to it is very bad in my opinion. The government and Theresa May are opposed to legalising the drug and I must admit I am in agreement with the motion.

Many parents take the drug and do not worry about the consequences – in particular they do not care or are not aware of how it will affect their children and animals over the long term. This is a far more common problem than people imagine. Cannabis can also remain up to a week in the body.

Most children are seeing their parents as their role models and hence are going on to smoke it and other drugs themselves.

What are your thoughts? Have you had any personal experience of this drug or any other? Are you a teacher who has seen first-hand the impact it has on pupils? Has your child been in a situation where it has been offered to him/her? I’d welcome your comments below.

Elisa x