Self-reported drug consumption
and attitudes towards drugs
among 1333 regular cannabis
M. J. Atha & S. Blanchard
of 1333 regular cannabis users, recruited from a pop
festival, snowball samples and direct mailing, completed
anonymous questionnaires about their use of all drugs.
were daily cannabis users (up to 250g per month, mean
24.8g per month, mean spending £68.60, 6 joints
per day). Although most users had tried other drugs,
particularly hallucinogens and amphetamine, such use
was typically experimental or occasional. Very few individuals
were regular users of cocaine, heroin or crack Three
quarters had tried LSD, just over half had tried ecstasy.
Use of most
drugs was highest in the 20-30 age group. Men were heavier
users of most drugs than women. This difference was
greater in older age groups. Users under 20 would have
first tried cannabis around 3 years earlier than users
over 30. Use of all drugs except alcohol was consistently
lower among students than employed or unwaged respondents.
Those users who drove reported a level of accidents
no higher than the general population, however those
with the highest accident rates were more likely to
be heavier poly-drug users.
for cannabis offences had lower than expected incomes
allowing for age, and would currently use more drugs
significantly more often than those with clean records.
If the proportion convicted is typical, an estimate
of regular users would be around 2.75 million, consuming
over 800 metric tonnes of cannabis products in a market
worth £3.5 billion per year.
prices are stable throughout the UK, with little regional
difference, or differences between inner city or rural
areas. The average 'street' price (for 1/8oz deals)
was £4 to £4.30 per gram, varying according
to variety, with 'skunk' an average £6 per gram.
Moroccan cannabis resin is the most common variety.
Home grown material may account for up to 20% of total
gave highly positive subjective ratings to cannabis,
LSD, mushrooms and ecstasy, and highly negative ratings
to solvents, crack cocaine and heroin. Higher ratings
were associated with increased levels of use. A majority
of those who reported health problems from cannabis
also reported benefits. LSD was credited with the highest
number of both 'best' and 'worst' drug experiences.
use, cannabis, questionnaire, attitudes of drug users,
self-reported effects, frequency of use, consumption,
patterns of drug use, costs of use (legal drugs, LSD,
psilocybin, amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, crack, ecstasy),
demographic variables (age, sex, employment status etc.),
cannabis market, prices, routes of administration, paraphernalia,
plant cultivation, drug subcultures, purity, drug offences,