A survey study investigating Liverpool John Moores University students’ attitudes and perceptions towards cannabis use and the legislation surrounding it in the United Kingdom
Keywords:cannabis, cannabis use disorder, Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test, drug use, attitudes, perceptions, legislation
Cannabis legislation is a highly debated topic in the United Kingdom (UK), with much of the public having varying views. Cannabis use among students is also something that has varied over the years, and the prevalence of cannabis use disorder (CUD) needs to be identified. There are a variety of studies in the UK that mainly show the prevalence of cannabis use among students. Further studies in Canada and the United States have also been conducted around the same area. The aim of this research was to investigate Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) students’ attitudes and perceptions towards cannabis use and the legislation surrounding it in the UK. The study also looked to investigate how widely cannabis was used among students and determine the prevalence of CUD by using the Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test screening tool. The study used a quantitative approach with an online anonymous questionnaire for data collection. The study had 24 respondents who were all from the Public Health Institute at LJMU, either at an undergraduate or postgraduate level of study. From the results, it was found that almost a third (29%) of the sample had used cannabis in the last 6 months, and for 43% of those there were indications of possible CUD. Of those who had used cannabis in the last 6 months, 42% were in favour of the drug being decriminalised, and 42% of those who hadn’t used cannabis in the last 6 months said the same. However, 63% of the study were of the opinion that current UK dug policies have been mostly unsuccessful in reducing the harms done by drug abuse. The use of cannabis among LJMU students is evident, which shows that the use of cannabis across the UK student population must be similar. There are concerns around whether current drug policies are effective in reducing the harms done by drug abuse, which suggests that more needs to be done by the government to reduce these harms. The study found that CUD is prevalent among cannabis users at LJMU, which shows that it is likely to be an issue amongst the general student population, highlighting further need to educate students about cannabis use, in the hope to decrease the levels of CUD.
Copyright (c) 2023 Jack Hooper
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