A mother whose son was addicted to skunk – a strong form of cannabis – for three and a half years has said decriminalising cannabis would lead to “damaged children of devastated parents”.
Writing anonymously, the mother said her 13-year-old son first got cannabis from the captain of his rugby team at school.
In an article for The Daily Telegraph, she said legalising the drug would be a “harmful experiment that will play with the lives of an entire generation”.
Last month four police forces signalled that they would turn a blind eye to people who grow cannabis for personal use.
But the unnamed mother who saw her son’s addiction first-hand said that ‘having the law on our side’ is vital.
“Legalise cannabis and you remove one of the few tools left in the armoury of helpless parents, struggling to extricate their child from its addictive clutch”, she wrote.
The young man, who is also not named, started smoking cannabis when he was 13 and he continued until he was 17.
His “sole focus became getting hold of skunk”, his mother said.
“Money began disappearing. I would wake up in the night in our bedroom, to find our son rifling through his father’s trouser pockets, looking for cash. Later, he told me that he needed £200 a week to fund his habit”.
The turning point for her son came when he went to a friend’s house and saw two other men also there and a gun on the coffee table.
He smoked the drug and left, “deciding he wanted out. He came back, in the truest sense of that phrase”.
She added that, two years later, he “has a good job, plenty of interests, reads a book a week to make up for his lost education and has made good friends”.
But the mother said that she has met “many parents who have lost their children to this drug – to the mental illness and criminality it induces”.
The current situation allows parents to clearly say “no” to their children. “Saying ‘yes’ is not a risk you want to take, trust me”, she concluded.