Get real mum, everybody smokes cannabis
"Get real mum, everybody smokes cannabis" is a harrowing journey taken by a mother after her son is arrested for possession of cannabis with intent to supply. It highlights the effects the drug has had on her family, from the extreme paranoia and suicidal thoughts experienced by her son to the raging aggression, violence and tension that goes with the territory. It documents the police activity, the actions of the court and the trauma of getting her son’s case heard reasonably, so the actions of his stupidity didn’t ruin his future forever.
Advised by her son’s counsellor, who is helping with the campaign for fair justice for substance users, Maggie initially wrote down her thoughts as a means of coping with the stress of the situation, as she was thrown from blissful ignorance into the turgid world of drugs and gang violence. The subsequent struggle to control the volatile domestic situation while protecting her son from the prejudices inherent in society, moulded her diary ramblings into a book.
Get Real Mum, everybody smokes cannabis is a true story, written to bring the issue of teenage social drug use out into the open. Maggie’s son had been a heavy user for years but, although she was an intelligent, professional woman, the extensive substance abuse went by unnoticed. Horrified by her ignorance of the subject, and the knowledge that the issue of drug abuse among schoolchildren is at record heights, Maggie wrote the book as the story unfolded.
The book is no easy read; it tells it as it is and is essential reading for all parents and grandparents of young children and teenagers, so they can stay one step ahead in the fight against recreational drugs. The violence and mental torture that families of drug abusers have to suffer, is not openly spoken about yet it is estimated that thousands of families are affected in the UK alone.
Hopefully the book will get people talking about the horrific damage that cannabis is causing to the youth of today. It isn’t a harmless weed, far from it. Cannabis is a dangerous, mood-changing drug that’s responsible for family break ups, mental illness, crime, suicide and death.
‘It’s a little odd, reading a book written by a parent who has suffered at the hands of her son through his addiction to cannabis. It’s a little odd because for many years I was that son myself, wantonly tearing my way through my family’s love, affection, money, patience and peace of mind.
And I didn’t even think I had a problem. To tell you the truth I thought my problems started once I had discovered crack cocaine and heroin some 15 years after my first joint of cannabis at a party when I was 14 years old. Even then I had no conception of the torment and pain I was causing my family, that I had in-fact caused them from the day they realised my life was being controlled by the drugs I was taking.
I couldn’t understand what the problem was when I was younger – “It’s only cannabis Mum” was one of my politer come backs when my back was against the wall as a teenager, usually because I had yet again stolen money from her or my fathers wallet to buy some more weed(a charge I fervently denied by the way). When I wasn’t feeling so polite – when I was paranoid or tired or depressed – my responses ranged from screaming the house down whilst aptly demonstrating my wide knowledge of profanities, to threatening them with the family air rifle or whatever lay immediately within my reach at that time.
My family had no-one to talk to, no one to share this stuff with and lived a living hell for the next 20 years of their lives.
Those 20 long years later I was sat in my third rehabilitation centre in the midst of a ‘family conference’, and there I learnt that yes, the crack was the most financially destructive drug I ever took, the heroin turned me into a zombie but it was the cannabis, the weed, the skunk that left my mother living in fear of me on a day to day basis. I couldn’t understand that then, but when I look back now with some clarity of mind and a small piece of recovery under my belt, I know that it is true….
Cannabis destroyed me from the day I started taking it. Not only was it my gateway to a life that was to be fuelled by getting high but it was the drug that changed me from a polite, loving if a little wayward 14 year old into a uncontrollable monster. I couldn’t understand my family’s ignorance, as I saw it, to the facts about weed – its harmless, everybody does it – and therefore I could not connect with the damage I was doing to them emotionally.
That someone has chosen to share her story, from a parent’s point of view, about what it is like living with a ‘me’, is a gift to society that should be welcomed with open arms.
I pray this book is nothing more than a voyeuristic read for you, but if becomes or already is a reality in your life today then now you know you’re not alone, and it is OK to talk.”
Programme Manager, Drug and Alcohol Awareness,
The Amy Winehouse Foundation