Cannabis Users Experience in London
Cannabis sativa is one of the most used drugs in the United Kingdom, especially in London and its environs. In different countries, the use of cannabis is illegal such as in Canada and many others. However, in some countries, the use is tolerated like in the Netherlands.
Research shows that historians and anthropologists have found out that cultural traditions, medicinal practices, economic and legal forces, and climatic differences play a great role in the part cannabis plays in various cultures and societies. For instance, several cultural groups and various people, in general, hold the belief that the use of cannabis is a means of introspection, sociability, and relaxation (Fagan, 1996; 42). Other people, however, believe that cannabis has immediate effects which lead to the production of a burst of energy necessary for the completion of hard tasks.
The use of this drug should be highly discouraged as there are limitations for using the drug and especially in the health of an individual (Louise, 2002). This paper aims at evaluating the experience of cannabis users in London. The study uses an interview method to obtain information from one of the drug takers from a rehabilitation center. The information obtained is analyzed and recorded and later used to come up with a conclusion.
According to WHO (2010) cannabis sativa remains of the most used drugs in the United Kingdom, especially in London and its environs. Based on previous research it was introduced into the united kingdom towards the end of the Roman occupation and used all over the UK consistently for a longer period of time (Ashton, 2010; 103).
Due to the consistent use of the plant, several government agencies and non-governmental organizations such as WHO and Drug Equality Alliance in the United Kingdom have condemned its use; owing to the negative health implications it has on the users. On the other hand, other organizations such as the Cannabis Law Reform and Drug Equality Alliance tend to advocate for their legality in the UK insisting that it is normal drugs just like the others. Over the last few decades, there has been raging debates over the use of cannabis with some countries passing a law to ban the cultivation of the plant as well as the use of the plant (Louise, 2002).
The paper aims at conducting research on the experience of cannabis users in London. One person (user) was identified to conduct an interview with for a period of one hour to produce a quality report.
Research done by Louise (2002) shows that sustained cannabis high-level use is quite rare. Most of the people who have used cannabis experience the use of the drug for a long time and tend to quit as they grow old. Most of the users usually have firsthand information on the negative effects of the drug. This, however, does not cause an escalation of the problem. The drugs create a different social perception on the individual and make him withdrawn and attached to the drug over and above any other thing (Ashton, 2001).
Research studies have shown that cannabis tends to increase the influence of the individual on some activities like hiking, climbing mountains, cycling depending on the taste and preference of the user (Menezes & Paulo R, 1996). However, the drug is quite expensive as the use is banned in countries such as London and therefore accessing is requires prior arrangement. Previous research shows that cannabis sativa is highly economical and most businessmen have turned to the legal trade to make fortunes (Swadi, 1988; 36).
According to research, parents and family members of the cannabis users have show concert on the user of the drug so as to guide and show the right way which is to stop using the drug. Cannabis is highly addictive to the users and anytime not used; they feel sick and low and may not be able to carry out the normal daily activities they are always involved in. Most of the users are able to regulate the use of cannabis without being controlled (Lane et al, 2005; 8006). Some of the users, however, have to be followed and taken for counseling sessions or rehabilitation where they are guided on the way to stop using the drug.
In order to examine user of cannabis within the population, the researcher used an interview to analyze each subject, the interview was used as the most applicable tool of data collection since it was able to obtain the in-depth information required by the study. In addition, the study employed the use of case study design as it could to exhaust all the subjects in the population in terms of data collection. The research further noted that the interview method did go hand in hand with the case study since it gave room for probing of each item in the questionnaire(Attride-Stirling, 2001; 386).
The researcher identified one person to conduct an interview with for a period of one hour to produce a quality report. The individual was picked randomly from several users who were in a rehabilitation center to avoid discrimination. The participant was informed that the research followed the necessary ethics in a research study. London was used as the study area; a sample was then obtained and used as a representative of the population. In order to avoid bias opinions of the person was made to understand the nature of the data required and its intended use at the start of the interview session.
On the other hand, the individual had used cannabis for a specified period of time and was perceived to possess the information required. The study believed that individual identified had similar characteristics with the population and such was considered a true representative of the users of cannabis in London. The individual was interviewed for a period of forty-five minutes and it was recorded for analysis.
Advantages of the interview method are that it provides additional information, is flexible and motivating especially if it is a new experience. The disadvantages are that it requires practice and training, confidentiality and is time-consuming.
To convert the data obtained from the field into useful information, data were analyzed by the use of simple statistical measures of tendency called statistical package for social scientist (SPSS). After the information was obtained, it was interpreted and presented in form of charts, graphs, and percentages, the researchers believed that the above-highlighted method of analysis better suited the research objectives(Attride-Stirling, 2001; 386). In addition, the use of the presentation methods employed was of high frequency and the most used in many research studies.
The research study was easy as we obtained first-hand information from a drug user. The process did not involve a lot of time as we interviewed only one participant. The data analysis was also easy as the information was from one participant who was representing many.
When picking the individual to interview, several people wanted to participate and we had to convince them that we only wanted one person. On the other hand, the language was a problem and we had to be very keen to hear what the participant was saying.
From the data collected, the cannabis user confirmed that he is aware of several laws and regulations that govern the consumption and the cultivation of cannabis in the United Kingdom. The data shows that the United Kingdom legislature has condemned and banned the use of the drug in London and its environs. Due to this, higher percentage awareness is believed to have evolved from educational programs being broadcasted on different radio stations. The respondent also argued that since cannabis is banned in London and its environs, it is not easy to come across without prior arrangement excluding the knowledge of the authorities involved.
The individual interviewed argued that cannabis usage depends on its quality, the amount used and the type of person using the drug (Louise, 2002; 1213). The respondent argued that the use of cannabis is relative as most individuals in the UK uses it for different reasons, for instance, some use the drug as a stimulant while others use it as a medicine mostly in pain relieving. According to WHO (2010), the use of cannabis can either be social or medical but the study notes whether social or medical most impacts are considered negative and can implicate adverse health effects on the individual.
Consumption of cannabis is highly addictive (Lane et al, 2005; 8006). The respondent interviewed thus argues that once involved in the use of cannabis it is not easy to quit and mostly needs rehabilitation to advance. In addition, the user believes that the consumption is by many people. The subject indicates that cannabis, when used, leaves a very good experience to the user socially and makes them enjoy life much more irrespective of their objectives and aims in relation to the underlying drug.
Socially, the use of cannabis is self-motivating to the user. When used it tends to motivate the individual since it is considered a stimulant. The respondent believes that its use influences the nature of activities they are involved, for instance, the subject that was used had interest in activities like hiking and mountain climbing and thus he argues that when it’s in the system it speeds up the activities. According to WHO (2011) cannabis can be used for recreational and socializing in improving the quality of life generally, in ancient Rome, history points out that bhang was most specifically served for purposes of good luck and also a show of hospitality during events.
Previous research shows that cannabis sativa is highly economical and most businessmen have turned to the legal trade to make fortunes (Swadi, 1988; 36). Hence the subject interviewed agreed that high amounts of cash are spent on the purchase and subsequent consumption of sativa each and every year since they are highly expensive and not easily available. The research points out that in most areas in London; cannabis is not readily available and can only be purchased through arrangement since its illegal in the parts of the United Kingdom. The subject clarifies that he spends up to 500 pounds a week to keep up with his addiction to the drug.
The respondent did argue that cannabis is highly addictive to the users and anytime not used, they feel sick and low and can not seem to carry out the normal daily activities they are always involved in. For the above reasons, to stop the use of cannabis individuals are highly advised to seek help from counselors as well as rehabilitation centers, the study points out that most rehabilitation centers have helped individuals recover from addictions to cannabis sativa.
From the data collected, the subject asserts that he can not advise anyone to be involved in drugs due to the underlying health effects and the negative implications that it has on the users around London and its environs. A study showed across placebo as well as 3 doses of cannabis has a risky response from predose (session 1) to the peak effects (session 2) changes the risks. The scores in the changes are calculated using the number in the risky responses of session two subtracted from the session 1 risky response. Each of the bars shows a mean + or – 1SEM. The bars above a zero describe an increase in the risk-taking while those below describe a decrease. The graph below shows results for Risky response (Session two minus session one)vs. Marijuana does in percentage (Lane et al, 2005;8004).
According to previous research user or addicts of cannabis tend to be largely withdrawn from the family and friends due to the effect and influence of the drug, for instance, in most cases none of the family members are always aware of the addictive nature of the drug on the individual using it (Ashton, 2001;103).
The subject confirms that different families react differently to the news of addicts of cannabis in the family. According to him the family first overreacted to the point of disowning him but later on understood what he was going through and took him to health expert for a checkup and then to a rehabilitation center to enhance his recovery. In addition, most individuals tend to withdraw themselves from the family and this makes it difficult to notice them at first sight, it is thus advisable that the family member should pay close attention to their loved and check for the symptoms of long cannabis use among individuals(Fagan, 1996; 41).
Over the last years, several educational and awareness programs about the negative implication of cannabis have been developed. It’s from these sources that the research believes the user got the ideas of the ban on the import and export of cannabis. Several laws and regulation have been passed to govern the cultivation and the ban on the use of cannabis in the United Kingdom. In accordance with these laws and regulation, it is hard to purchase cannabis in the open market as confirmed by data collected from the subject during the interview process and due to this cannabis is only made available upon the prior arrangement in London and its environs.
The subject acknowledges that cannabis has addictive effects due to its chemical composition and as a result tends to be addictive; this is further confirmed by the data collected from the respondents during the interview process. Based on the WHO, the drug has social, spiritual and medicinal effects on the users, it is believed that when consumed there is long term effect on the individual since it is a stimulant. Most consumers of cannabis do have long lasting experiences that can either be negative or positive(Ashton, 2001).
The consumer of cannabis argue that the social effects of cannabis are more than its medicinal effects, As a stimulant, cannabis tends to increase the influence of the individual on specific activities like hiking, climbing mountains, cycling depending on the taste and preference of the user. This high rate of consumption is mostly proportional to the amount of money spent on the drug itself, the higher the demand, the higher the expenses. Previous research also indicates that due to the ban imposed on it, cannabis is hard to find and therefore expensive in most cases.
From the experiences over the periods of drug use, the subjects confirm that when he uses the drugs he feels better than when not in use and this has been described to be due to its chemical composition. According to Ashton (2001) organization, the drugs create a different social perception on the individual and makes him withdrawn and attached to the drug over and above any other thing. This is evident from the data collected from the respondent since the subject affirms that when he is not intoxicated he feels very low.
The advice on people to use cannabis is highly unacceptable since cannabis is not legal in many countries and not allowed for import or export by many countries in the United Kingdom. The subject confirms this by advocating for lack of advice on the youth to join the trade citing health effects and addiction malpractices that always overweight its advantages. On the other hand, most users tend to withdraw themselves due to the symptoms associated with the drug and this is believed to be the effect of several chemical components of the drug itself (Ashton, 2001).
Based on this data, withdrawal is always considered the order of the day as most users including the subject used in this study does not involve with either the friends or the family. The study points out that this is mostly due to the side effects brought about by the drugs chemical composition. The reactions by the families are said to be relative depending on the individual character, in the case of the respondent used in the study, his family gave him the support that made him undergo counseling as well as recovery process within the rehabilitation centers.
In conclusion, the writer points out that the experiences of different users on cannabis sativa are relative. The case clearly points out that its negative implications tend to outweigh the positive benefits and due to this fact, the subject plus the study clearly confirms that staying away from the drug is the best for the current youth population living in London as well as any individual worldwide. Hence the study identifies the negative measures and strongly opposes any legalization of cannabis in London as it has impacted negatively on society. In addition, the study urges the government to establish several measures and laws to control the use of cannabis in London and its environs.
Withdrawal from taking the drug is always considered the best thing as most users such as the subject used in this study do not involve with either the friends or the family. This is due to the side effects brought about by the drugs chemical composition. The reactions by the families are said to be relative depending on the individual character. The family members should offer support and take the individual for counseling and recovery process within the rehabilitation centers.
Arseneault, Louise, et al. 2002 “Cannabis use in adolescence and risk for adult psychosis: a longitudinal prospective study.” Bmj: 1212-1213.
Attridge-Stirling, J. 2001, “Thematic networks: an analytic tool for qualitative research.” Qualitative research 1, no. 3: 385-405.
Ashton, H. 2001, “Pharmacology and effects of cannabis: a brief review.” The British Journal ofPsychiatry 178.2: 101-106.
Fagan, J. 1996, ‘Gangs, Drugs, and Neighbourhood Change’ in C. Ronald Huff (ed.) Gangs in America (2nd edn)., p 39-74. Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications
Lane, S. D., Cherek, D. R., Tcheremissine, O. V., Living, L. M., &Pietras, C. J. 2005, “Acute marijuana effects on human risk-taking”.Neuropsychopharmacology, 30(4): 800-809.
Menezes, Paulo R., et al. 1996.”Drug and alcohol problems among individuals with severe mental illness in south London.”The British Journal of Psychiatry 168.5: 612-619.
Swadi, H. 1988, “Drug and substance use among 3,333 London adolescents.” British Journal of Addiction 83.8: 935-942.
- Are you aware of several laws and regulations that govern the consumption and the cultivation of cannabis in the United Kingdom?
Ans. Yes, I am aware of several laws and regulations that govern the consumption and the cultivation of cannabis in the United Kingdom. Various agencies in the United Kingdom have condemned and banned the use of the drug in London and its environs.
- How then do you access the drugs for purchase?
Ans. Cannabis is not readily available and can only be purchased through arrangement since its illegal in the parts of the United Kingdom.
- Why do you use cannabis?
Ans. The use of cannabis is relative as most individuals use it for different reasons, for instance, some use the drug as a stimulant while others use it as a medicine mostly in pain relieving. Cannabis tends to increase the influence of the individual on specific activities such as hiking, climbing mountains, cycling depending on the taste and preference of the person using it.
- How much do you spend on cannabis in one week?
Ans. I spend up to 500 pounds a week to keep up with an addiction to the drug.
- Does it mean cannabis is addictive?
Ans. Cannabis is highly addictive and anytime not used, will feel sick and low and can not seem to carry out normal daily activities they are always involved in.
- Is it easy to quit taking the drug?
Ans. It is not easy to quit and mostly needs rehabilitation to advance. When used, cannabis leaves a very good experience for the individual socially and makes them enjoy life much more irrespective of their objectives and aims in relation to the underlying drug.
- How do the family members and parents react to this?
Ans. Different families will react differently to the news of addicts of cannabis in the family. My family first overreacted to the point of disowning me but later on understood what I was going through and took me to health expert for a checkup and then to a rehabilitation center to enhance my recovery.
- Why do you think young people take the drug and what should be done to avoid this?
Ans. Lack of advice on the youth to join the trade. They need to be explained on the health effects and addiction malpractices that always overweight its advantages. Most should be guided on the way to withdraw themselves due to the symptoms associated with the drug.
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