Somerset Youth and Community Service. Cannabis Awareness. Session plan 2. To raise young people s awareness of the effects of cannabis on the body

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1 Cannabis Awareness Session plan 2 Aims: To raise young people s awareness of the effects of cannabis on the body Learning Outcomes: By the end of the session young people will: Understand the effects of cannabis Understand the legal status of cannabis Have considered their attitudes to cannabis Group Size: 8 young people Time: One Hour Materials: Flipchart paper Marker pens Cannabis Effects Sheet Cannabis names list Agree/disagree statements Agree / disagree floor cards Cannabis Quiz & answer sheet Time What With 10 mins Names for cannabis and its effects on the body: Split the group into four small groups. Ask 2 of the groups to write down all the names they can think of for cannabis and ask the other 2 groups to write down what effects it can have. Flipchart paper Marker pens 10 mins Each group to then feedback to the main group. Use the Cannabis briefing sheet to make sure that all points are covered. 20 mins Agree/Disagree Ask group to stand up and clear a space in the room. Inform them that there is a line across the room and one end is agree and the other end is disagree. As you read out each statement, the young people should place themselves on a point along the line according to whether they agree or disagree with the statement. Discuss with the group why they have placed themselves where they have on the line. 5 mins Give out the cannabis quiz, for young people to complete individually Effects Sheet, Names list Agree/disagree statements Agree / disagree floor cards Cannabis Quiz 10 mins Go through the answers, discussing issues with the group. Answer sheet 5 mins Evaluation : Ask each young person what was good, bad and ugly about the session

2 Cannabis effects sheet Mood Some people feel chilled out, happy and relaxed Others feel sick and anxious, panicky, paranoid or suspicious Some people get the giggles and become talkative Hunger pangs are common and called the munchies Users may become more aware of their senses or get a feeling of slowing time, which are due to it s hallucinogenic effects Regular use can make you feel tired and unmotivated Mental Health Regular use has been associated with an increase in the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia, particularly if there is a family background of mental illness Can cause paranoia, depression and insomnia Impairs short term memory Some varieties have more powerful effects than others (skunk, sinsemilla) and using stronger cannabis can increase the likelihood of mental health issues Is weakly addictive but can cause dependence in a significant minority of regular users The Body Increases heart rate and affects blood pressure Is quick acting it only takes seconds to take effect and declines after 45 minutes Eyes get bloodshot, mouth becomes dry Affects your co-ordination (which is why driving is dangerous and illegal if you are under the influence of cannabis) If smoked with tobacco, there is a risk of addiction and the health risks associated with tobacco (such as bad breath, bronchitis, lung cancer and emphysema) Can reduce sperm count and motility Can suppress ovulation and so can affect fertility Can increase the risk of low birth weight if smoked Regular use makes if difficult to learn and concentrate

3 Cannabis names Bhang Blast Blunts Bush Draw Grass Hashish Herb Pot Resin Sensemilla Skank Soap Wacky backy Zero Black Blow Bob Hope Dope Ganga Hash Hemp Marijuana Puff Sensi Shit Smoke Spliff Weed

4 Cannabis agree/disagree statements Agree / Disagree Statements Cannabis should be made legal Cannabis is a more harmful drug then alcohol The side effects of cannabis are harmless because it comes from a plant Cannabis is a gateway drug to using harder drugs Doctors should be able to prescribe cannabis to patients Maintaining the illegal status of cannabis leads to an increase in criminal behaviour

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8 Cannabis Quiz It is safe to drive a car under the influence of cannabis Cannabis makes you feel relaxed, happy and mellow True False It s legal to smoke cannabis Splitting your cannabis with your friends doesn t count as dealing You re not doing anything illegal if friends smoke cannabis in your home, as long as it doesn t belong to you & you don t smoke it. You re more likely to get lung cancer if you smoke cannabis, than just tobacco Cannabis comes in many different types and strengths Cannabis makes you eat more Smoking cannabis can increase your likelihood of developing a mental illness Smoking cannabis can limit your social life What did you score?

9 Cannabis Quiz Answers It is safe to drive a car under the influence of cannabis True False Cannabis lessens co-ordination and balance and impairs motor skills so that activities like driving a car (or riding a bike) may become dangerous. It is also as illegal as drink driving and you could be fined or disqualified. Cannabis makes you feel relaxed, happy and mellow Cannabis can make you feel relaxed, happy and mellow. It can also make you feel sick, panicky, anxious and paranoid It s legal to smoke cannabis No, it isn t. It is a Class B drug. If you are under 18 and caught in possession of cannabis, it s likely you ll get a reprimand and your parents / guardians told. A second offence will probably result in a final warning and a referral to the Youth Offending Team. For a third offence, you are likely to be arrested and charged. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and an unlimited fine. Splitting your cannabis with your friends doesn t count as dealing Yes it does. You also risk being charged with dealing if you grow cannabis in your home or carry a large amount on you. The maximum penalty for dealing is 14 years plus an unlimited fine. You re not doing anything illegal if friends smoke cannabis in your home, as long as it doesn t belong to you & you don t smoke it. Yes you are. Allowing anyone to take it in your house is illegal and the home owner could be prosecuted. This is also true for clubs, cars & parties.

10 You re more likely to get lung cancer if you smoke cannabis, than just tobacco True False Cannabis smoke contains more of the cancer causing chemical benzopyrene than tobacco does. Also, you are more likely to start smoking tobacco regularly if you smoke in joints. Cannabis comes in many different types and strengths It does. It can be in the form of hashish, which is made up of the resin of the plant (using solvents), or grass made from the dried leaves and flowers of the plant (looks like dried herbs). In the last few years, different types of grass have been available that can be two or three times stronger than traditional grass. It can be difficult to tell what you re getting, which can make limiting your in-take impossible. Cannabis makes you eat more Some people feel hungrier when they ve been smoking cannabis it s usually called the munchies. It s caused because people become more aware of their senses when they are stoned. Smoking cannabis can increase your likelihood of developing a mental illness It can cause paranoia in the first instance. Also, cannabis has been linked to the development of mental illnesses, particularly if you have a history of mental illness in your family, or if you have had a mental illness. Research is ongoing in this area. Smoking cannabis can limit your social life Some people who smoke cannabis gradually smoke more and more of it. This means that they limit their social circle to others who smoke it, which can exclude other friends. Also, most smoking happens in people s houses, so you stop going out altogether.

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