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Home > Culture and Society

Cannabis: can cause confusion

26 January 2004

There's probably only one thing more boring than sitting in a room full of stoned people when you're not stoned yourself (the inane laughter, the agonising confusion over who's going to go to the off-licence, etc.) and that's the cannabis debate itself.

(Oh, and listening to conscious dub. So - two things).

Cannabis is currently being debated as though it's far, far more important than it is - it's neither addictive nor life-threatening in any real sense. Some people enjoy it (it's a great aid to watching TV) while others find it makes them paranoid and introverted. That's about it.

But now we're being warned yet again that we're heading for a society of drugged up zombies who'll go barmy in later life. How true is this? Well, it's established that people with psychological problems often turn to drugs. However, a lot more of them turn to alcohol, which is rather more effective in blotting out unhappiness. Most people who don't like the effects of cannabis soon realise that if you're feeling insecure, worried or unhappy, dope paranoia is the last thing you need, and just stop smoking it. It's also probably the case that most people 'grow out' of cannabis - they either get bored of it, or leave the student/doley/teenager lifestyle that's conducive to smoking dope.

The government response? Replace the existing legal muddle over cannabis with another legal muddle. And, of course, an advertising campaign to explain it. The Friday Thing suggests the following ads:

CANNABIS: KNOW THE LAW!

Yo kids! Da ganja used to be class B but now it's class C but that doesn't mean that it's legal because the potential jail sentence for possession has been reduced from five years to two years and there are massive discrepancies in how this is applied anyway including whether the policeman who does you for possession has had a bad day or not so it's entirely possible you'll get off scott-free if you smoke it in the street but on the other hand you can have your life ruined because your university probably has a 'zero tolerance' policy. Got 'dat'? Sorted!

CANNABIS: IT MIGHT MAKE YOU MENTAL (BUT PROBABLY WON'T)!

Yo kids! Have you tried da ganja? Are you now terrified that your brain is broken? Are you a whining halfwit who also probably believes you're a chronic alcoholic because you once drank a bottle of wine on your own? If so, don't do the obvious thing and just stop smoking it - instead smoke as much as you conceivably can, leading to you losing all your friends and failing your exams. That way you'll be able to blame all your problems on cannabis if you're ever interviewed by a TV reporter whipping up hysteria about drugs! Sorted!

CANNABIS: KNOW THE RISKS

Yo kids! Did da ganja make you buy a tie-dyed T-shirt? Have you forgotten what it's like for songs to have proper lyrics after over-exposure to the Ozrics? Are you eating too many Pringles? Did you just have a 2-hour discussion with your housemates about whose turn it was to make a pot of tea? Do you spend a disproportionate amount of time discussing the minor differences between various types of dope? Are your long-term plans restricted to buying a hydroponic lamp? If so, you've probably spent the last five years procuring, smoking and supplying small amounts of dope. Be prepared for a sudden shock when you finally realise it's actually a bit shit.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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