‘Cannabis killed my daughter’

A mother whose daughter committed suicide after frequent cannabis use has warned of the dangers posed by the drug.

Kerry Head from Derbyshire said that her “beautiful, bright and fun” daughter Emily, 23, became increasingly paranoid the more she smoked the drug.

Speaking after the inquest into Emily’s death, Kerry warned that “there’s a false sense of security around cannabis”.


She said: “They say no one has died from taking cannabis, but I disagree, my daughter has. It was difficult to try and get her to seek help. I was so worried about her, but she wouldn’t let us help. We felt so helpless”.

Kerry also explained how Emily’s addiction had led her to take increasingly drastic action to get hold of the drug.

She said: “We would give her cash cards she could spend at Asda for food so she couldn’t spend cash on cannabis, but we later found out she was buying video games with them and selling them to get the cash.”

During the inquest, Emily’s mental health issues were detailed, including her anxiety and depression. She also displayed signs of psychosis, but refused to seek help and attempted to hide her symptoms from doctors.

‘Russian roulette’

In 2017, mother Janie Hamilton visited schools nationwide to warn of the dangers of cannabis after her son James’ cannabis-induced schizophrenia contributed to his death.

She said that she wanted youngsters to realise that cannabis can be lethal, saying: “It’s like Russian roulette and young people don’t realise they are risking death by experimenting.”

Listen now: Janie Hamilton speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live

In 2013, mother Melanie Leahy also said her son Matthew took his own life after believing the drug was “harmless”.

Last year, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs removed cannabis from its list of the world’s most dangerous drugs, despite strong opposition.

Also see:

UN downplays cannabis danger

US: Pot-smoking teens with mental health disorders three times more likely to self-harm

Police turn blind eye to cannabis users with ‘get out of jail free’ cards

Related Resources