Fact NOT Fiction!
Check out some of the most common Myths that we hear from young people - and what the actual TRUTH is...
1. Cannabis is not like other drugs... it’s not really addictive!
Cannabis is a psychoactive substance and like many other drugs can lead users to becoming psychologically addicted. Many people who use cannabis regularly and who increase the amount they use also increase their tolerance. Users may find that they will experience physical and mental effects when they do not use. Usually the fact that many users feel that cannabis use is normal can prevent them realising that they may have an issue themselves. Have a think about people you may know who appear to not be able to go even a day without using cannabis!
2. Using cannabis with your mates is a laugh!
Using cannabis with friends for some young people is what makes it more enjoyable. However stop to think for a moment... are the people you use cannabis with or get it from really your friends? Some users have found, after getting cannabis free or the offer to pay for it later, that they slowly develop debts that they cannot manage. Some criminals or street gangs use this method to control and exploit people who have cannabis debts putting pressure on them to mind drugs or other illegal items, use their home to grow cannabis (cultivate), pay off debts by becoming a ‘mule’ or ‘do a run’ (transporting drugs from one place to another) and/or do favours or errands, sometimes illegal, they would rather not. These actions usually also affect others i.e. family, friends or partners.
3. Cannabis is legal now... isn’t it?
Cannabis is not legal. It is not legal to grow, use or have cannabis in your possession including your home, car or other premises. Cannabis is a Class B drug and possession carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Supply and production offences carry maximum penalties of up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. If you are under 18 the police are allowed to inform your parents, carers or guardians if you are found in possession of illegal drugs. Police officers can issue a warning or an on the spot fine of £90 if you're caught with cannabis.
4. It’s cheaper than other drugs!
Heavy cannabis users may not agree in the long run. Cannabis may appear cheaper than other drugs such as cocaine however the amount you use will reveal the actual cost. One of the main problems users report is the amount of money they have spent on daily / heavy cannabis use and the rising debts they build up. Debt problems have resulted in users increasing their debts through gambling in an attempt to get money to pay off dealers or raise funds for more cannabis. Sometimes cannabis user’s debts require family members, friends or partners paying off dealers through fear of violence or intimidation to reduce debts by committing crime or other illegal favours. Some users have also committed crime such as burglary to raise funds for drugs or the debts they have built up.
5. Cannabis doesn’t cause any problems really!
Cannabis use relates to many problems associated with regular use. These problems include psychological problems and mental health issues including depression, anxiety, paranoia and drug induced psychosis. Relationships with friends, family and partners can be negatively affected. Cannabis is usually smoked so physical health and related illnesses are an issue. The daily impact of regular cannabis use can have a negative impact on motivation, concentration, education and/or work.