5 ways weed might mess with your plans

A lot of the time when we talk about the effects of cannabis, we focus on the links between regular use and mental and physical health. But using weed, or being caught with it, can have far-reaching effects on other aspects of your life.

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So you’ve heard it all before – you know all the pros and cons of using weed. You know it’s illegal, you know if you smoke it there could be nasty effects on your lungs and yes, you know it can affect motivation. But while you may know the obvious cons for smoking weed, have you thought about the domino effect – how these side effects cause other effects? Check out some of these surprising ways weed might mess with your plans:  

1. It could ruin your next big trip overseas

Weed is illegal in Australia, and even though possession of a small amount might not mean a criminal conviction the first time you’re caught, if you’re caught multiple times, it goes on your record!

So what’s that got to do with travel? Countries like the USA – which is definitely a place worth visiting –  aren’t all that excited about letting visitors in if they have drug possession on their criminal record. In fact, you can be denied a visa  and after that very long flight, you may be turned around and sent right back to where you started. Hmm, an awesome trip around the States, or a bong? On an even more serious note, if you develop a weed habit and are tempted to use when travelling, some countries enact the death penalty or lengthy prison sentences if you are caught with drugs. Is it really worth the risk?

2. It might stop you getting a job

Yes that sneaky joint you smoked this morning will land you in hot water if you’re drug tested today at work. Cannabis is among a long list of drugs that will lead to consequences such as dismissal, if you are caught using or already high at work. No job means a whole lot of drama and a big cut to the pay packet. Further to this, a record of possession may also mean some industries won’t even consider your job application when you want to go for your next position – you’ll be thrown straight on the ‘don’t employ that guy’ pile. Industries like mining, the defence force and transport have very strict rules about drug use.

3. It can make you stressed and anxious

It seems strange that a drug many people turn to for relaxation can in fact do the exact opposite for some them. Weed can bring on anxiety and paranoia and has even been linked to serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia for those who have a family history. What this means is that people might use it to relax or to feel more sleepy, but in the medium-to-long-term it could cause them to have sleep difficulties or to feel more anxious for the rest of the day.

4. You really can get addicted to it

Despite many people thinking weed is a ‘soft’ drug, it is in fact a drug of addiction. That means trying to stop may be hard for some people and will bring on some nasty withdrawals. Anxiety, insomnia, stomach upsets and intense cravings don’t sound like a lot of fun, but unfortunately can go hand-in-hand with trying to quit weed once you’re hooked. With help, most people are able to quit and the worst of the withdrawals are usually over in a couple of weeks.

5. It can ruin your relationships

A stoned partner – especially someone who uses a lot of weed regularly – can be a little too preoccupied or feel a little too unmotivated to really make the most of quality time. Add to that financial issues from spending too much on dope or work troubles, possible mental health problems, addiction and it’s a lot for a family member, a friend or a partner to deal with.

If you need help with your cannabis use or you're worried about someone else's use, call our Helpline on 1800 30 40 50.

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