The biggest Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) today is drugs. The most popular and easily available drug for youngsters today is cannabis, you might know it as "weed", “grass", "pot", "reefer", "joint", "hashish", "Mary Jane", “puff”, “skunk” and “wacky backy”.
The Revival takes you on a journey in the life cycle of a joint. We have spoken to people who are involved and affected by drugs.
The following are real life accounts of real people and they reflect the views of many people in similar situations.
'G', 30, is a dealer in the UK and has been dealing for almost 10 years.
The Revival:Why do you sell/deal drugs? What made you start dealing?
I'm a dealer so I can become rich quick, its as simple as that. After watching movies like 'Scarface' and 'Godfather' I decided I wanted to be a gangster too!
The Revival: You know its illegal and haram- doesn't that bother you at all?
G: Its illegal - so what? Who said its haram, I don't sell it to Muslims do I, so how can it be haram? Anyway if I didn't do it, someone else will.
The Revival: It's Haram no matter who you sell it to. Your drugs will get in the hands of Muslims, therefore you are destroying the Muslim community, does that not bother you?
G: No, not really. Like I said if I didn't sell it, someone else will.
The Revival: What will make you stop dealing?
G: The only thing that will stop me dealing is if I get caught by the cops or if I get tapped by other big dealers which will mean violence and a big shoot-out.
The Revival: Does the fear of God not bother you? When you die you will have to ANSWER TO HIM?
G: I don't fear anyone. You know what, I am a God cos I can do whatever I want. I make my own rules.
A REFORMED DEALER
'Hasan', 35, was a dealer for 9 years now but is now clean and trying to be a proper Muslim.
The Revival: What made you start dealing in drugs?
Hasan: I saw it as a quick way to make some fast money.
The Revival: So why did you stop dealing?
Hasan: I knew what I was doing was wrong and I didn't want it to come back to me...and it sure did. Cos of my dealing my bro-in-law was shot dead in a shoot out. I didn't want any more harm coming to my family so I had to get out. I asked Allah to get me out of this mess. He answered my calls and made it easier for me to leave the drug business all together
The Revival: What was life like as a dealer?
Hasan: Well, you think you're God and you don't have no fear for anyone. You think you're untouchable. It was a buzz but very dangerous and a reckless way of life. Cos of drugs I have been in prison twice, on many times I had guns pointing at me....so people may think it's a glamorous business but I tell you summat- it's not. Life now is a lot more better, peaceful and meaningful.
The Revival: What's your message to the Muslim youth?
Hasan: Simple, stay away from cigarettes cos that's what will take you on to weed. Smoking weed and dealing it dangers your life and your families lives. It's not cool. It's damn destructive! If you don't stop it will come back to haunt you. Believe me I know.
THOSE WHO SMOKE WEED
Mohammed, 21. Customer service Advisor
The Revival: Why do you smoke weed? What made you start?
Mohammed: I smoke weed cos it gives you a buzz, you just chill out and forget about things.
I started smoking because my friends started smoking and every one else does it as well. You see all the older guys that people respect smoking and chilling out so it all looks good. The first time I tried a spliff was with my friends, one of my mates brought a spliff into school and after school finished we had a smoke.
The Revival: What's the buzz in smoking weed?
Mohammed: Its hard to explain what the buzz is but its mainly that you feel really chilled out, you forget all the worries and problems in your life.
The Revival: But don’t the worries come back when you get sober?
Mohammed: Yeah they do so you have another spliff, and you can still do your work and everyday things whilst you're stoned.
The Revival: Doesn’t it effect your thinking and responses?
Mohammed: Yeah it makes you a bit slow but that’s the good thing... you just relax and do things slowly.
The Revival: How much do you spend on weed in a week? How long have you been smoking it?
Mohammed: It depends on what u smoke, solids are cheaper but give you a headache and takes longer to make a spliff and skunk is more expensive but it gets you proper mashed.
I don’t smoke on my own cos that’s just sad, smoking weed is a social thing done with friends, so we normally chip in together and get a deal and smoke it in the flat or in the car. I guess I spend about £50 quid a week on weed. I've been smoking it for 9 years now.
The Revival: Weed is illegal and haram- doesn't that stop or make you wanna quit?
Mohammed: Yeah its illegal but that’s only cos the government can't tax it like they can with alcohol. Any way they have been downgrading it so its alright to smoke, they know loads of people do it and there’s nothing wrong with it. I know its haram as well but it’s the only thing I do wrong. I don’t drink alcohol like other guys do, and it's a natural thing and one day I will stop and ask to be forgiven, until then I'm gonna keep smoking.
The Revival: But when do you think that will be.?You been smoking for 9 years now.
Mohammed: I don’t know I guess when I get married and have kids or something like that.
The Revival: What would you do if you're kid smoked weed?
Mohammed: I would kick the crap out of him cos I have been there, done it and ok its alright but I know its not good either.
The Revival: What illegal and haram things do you have to do to keep buying the weed?
Mohammed: I don’t do nothing illegal bro. I do my job and that pays for my weed. I'm not a smack head bro, those guys are messed up big time. They would rob their own mothers if they could. That stuff is proper addictive. I had a good friend who got into that and it messed up his life big time, messed up his family and everything. He used to be a big lad and now he's just so messed up, smack head!
The Revival: How addicted are you to smoking weed?
Mohammed: I don’t know? I must admit I do get a craving for weed at times but when that happens I just smoke it. I did try to stop once but it didn’t last long, I just had to have a spliff. But I think I can stop. I know of a lot of guys that have stopped and become all religious.
The Revival: How does it affect your family?
Mohammed: My parents get angry at me cos I come home late all the time, I know that’s not good but you just get stoned and forget about everything including your family and what time it is as well.
I go home and try and hide it. I don’t think my parents know I smoke weed, they think I smoke fags. My eyes are red and mashed so I just don’t look at my parents, I just look away.
THOSE WHO HAVE STOPPED SMOKING WEED
Yasser, 26. Former heavy weed smoker who is now a practising Muslim brother.
The Revival: What made you stop smoking weed? What was the main reason?
Yasser: It was my friends first, one guy stopped smoking weed and became religious and he would talk to us and tell us to stop smoking it. We all knew it was wrong to smoke weed but we all did it anyway. It didn’t happen overnight; our friend was trying for ages... over a year he would give us a proper bad buzz, the rest of us would be stoned.
He would be sober and he would wait till we got stoned and then he would start saying stop smoking its just like alcohol etc. We even tried staying away from him, we told him to get lost, swore at him and all sorts, but I have so much respect for him. He just kept telling us to stop.
We also began to feel guilty because we would get stoned and he would stay sober and not smoke and say look I stopped I don’t smoke and I still can have a good time!
He is a real friend, only a true friend will want what's good for you, the rest are just your mates cos your another guy who will chip in for a deal.
The Revival: How long did you used to smoke weed?
Yasser: For years... about 9 years or something.
The Revival: How much did you smoke in a day/week?
Yasser: A few spliffs a day sometimes, as little as 3 spliffs a day and sometimes we got proper mashed; you never count your spliffs.
The Revival: Hows life now since you stopped? How has life changed? Better or worse?
Yasser: Better.. a lot better. I miss smoking cos I remember the chill but I have so much more time to spend with my friends and family. My daughter was born and I was still smoking weed.
I would leave wife and daughter at home and go out with the boys to get stoned. I missed the early years of my daughter growing up... I feel bad for that, but I'm making up for it now. I get on with my wife more now as well than before... she would make me mad asking questions and that all the time.
But now things are so much better I have more time to do things and the days just seem longer, and I get to do my prayers as well as look after my parents. For the first time in ages I can look at my parents in the eye and speak to them. Before cos my eyes were red and I was stoned I would try and avoid my parents.
The Revival: What's your message to the dealers and smokers?
Yasser: No message to the dealers; those guys don’t give a crap about you. They want you to smoke. They just want your money, that’s all they interested in. There are so many dealers about these days its become like a shopping centre with good customer service.
'WHY I STOPPED SMOKING WEED'
Abdul, 25. Former junkie but is now a father, studying Islam and active in dawah work.
I started listening to some religious cassettes by people like Hamza Yusuf and other scholars and they would say things that began to make me think about my religion. I have always been a bit religious when I was young and my dad is a religious man as well. I guess I just needed a kick start to get me going.
It took a while over a year of trying and wanting to stop it eventually happened. But I had to change my friends that was the hardest part to do. Guys that I have been around for years, my brothers they are, but I tried to speak to them about stopping the weed but they just wouldn’t listen; eventually I thought if I want to stop I need to stay away from my friends.
I used to think yeah I should stop smoking weed its haram then I would meet up with my friends and when it was my turn on the spliff I couldn’t resist and would smoke it. The problem is it has become natural. You think there's nothing wrong with it its like eating, drinking and sleeping.
You just do them as an every day thing, that’s what weed became for me. Its only when you stop that you realise how much of your life you wasted away. I went to uni as well and I smoked so much weed it was shocking but everyone does it at uni. I think if I wasn’t smoking weed I would have done better in my exams.
I look back and think about all the time I wasted getting stoned and sitting in front of the TV with my mates. Yeah we had good times but to be honest with you the times I remember are the ones where I wasn’t stoned everything else is a haze.
I look back and think of what I could have done with my time I could have learnt more about my religion, met more people done so many more things instead of monging out in front of the TV. But I guess you learn from your mistakes.
Sometimes I regret smoking the weed but sometimes I don’t, I regret it because I will get punished for it by Allah, then I don’t regret it because it was an experience ; ok it was a bad one but I feel I'm better for it. I've been there done that, got the T shirt so I can look back and say my life is better now that I have stopped smoking weed.
Things are a lot better at home as well, I'm spending more time with family I have also got married and have a kid as well now. Before I would argue with my parents staying out late at night doing what I wanted not listening to them. But now things are a lot better with my parents they are a lot more happier and more peaceful now, so that’s good.
I spend a lot of time with my son, if I was still smoking weed I would be out all the time with the boys instead of spending time with my wife and son.
I know guys who are married and have kids they still smoke weed and they are out all the time how can they do this, how can you miss out on your child's life, missing out on them growing up.
More than all that I have stopped smoking weed and have started to read my namaaz (salaah). I would use the weed to forget about all the messed up things in my life but what I didn’t realise is that it was the weed that was causing things to get messed up in my life. Now my namaaz gives me peace and has helped me realise what is important in my life.
Parents in their 40's and are practising Muslims. Son has been smoking weed for years.
The Revival: Is your son normal/ happy at home? Any problems?
Mum: Yeah he's a good boy, things are not good at home because he comes home late all the time and we don’t know where he is or who his friends are. We ask him where he goes and he says he's with friends. We tried everything his dad locked him out of the house but his mum lets him in again. We tell him to be in by 11pm latest and that lasts a couple of days and he's back to coming back at 2 or 3 in the morning. We have just given up on him.
The Revival: Why do you think your son/daughter smokes weed? how long for?
Dad: No my son doesn’t smoke weed he's not like the others.
Mum: Yeah he does smoke weed, I smell it from his clothes I don’t tell his dad cos it would really upset his dad and what can we do, these days the parents have to just be quiet. We're scared- what if he runs away or something, what if he turns round and hits us or something when he's under the influence (Nasha). I also found bags of the 'chars' (weed) in his clothes. I don’t know what to do. I'm scared so I just lie to his dad and stay quiet and pray to Allah(swt) that he changes himself and his friends.
The Revival: How has it affected your life/ family's life?
Mum: More problems in the house, his dad gets angry and shouts at him but he doesn’t seem to listen to him and doesn’t seem to care. Then his mother tries to help her son and then there are arguments between mother and father because father says it's mother's fault and that she has spoilt him and allowed him to become like this.
Mother: His dad shouts at him but he's my son and a mother will always think good of her son and when I say he's not like that his father gets angry and mad at me, I'm scared of my son and my husband what do I do, I just can't win.
The Revival: What have you done to encourage him to quit?
Mum: Nothing, we don’t talk about it at home. It will bring shame to the family if people find out and his dad will kill him or himself if he finds out! His dad is a respectable member of the community.
The Revival: What will make him/her stop/quit smoking weed?
Mum: His friends! He spends more time with them than he does with his own family, so I guess its his fiends that will change him.
The Revival: Have you taken any professional help/ advice in helping your son/daughter in quitting weed?
The Revival: What's your message to dealers/ smokers and to other parents?
Mum: We need to do something, the problem is they are other people's kids as well and I'm sure their parents are going through the same thing, we need to first recognise there is a problem at the moment we know our kids are doing drugs but we don’t want to accept it we just wish and hope they aren’t but in reality we are just kidding ourselves. They are smoking and dealing.
The parents of dealers don’t care, they just get loads of money from their son and they are happy- they don’t care if the money is halal or haram.
How can people live like that everything they eat and wear is haram? You can't give the money to a mosque or to charity. You can't go to Hajj and worst of all you will go to your grave knowing that the money that paid for your grave and your kafan (coffin) is all HARAM. How can you live with that?
Weed - A weapon of mass destruction!
Weed is a weapon of mass destruction which destroys the life of the user and everyone else… but the addict is so out of his head - he or she doesn’t even notice the effect it has on close ones. 3.2 million people in Britain smoke cannabis. We have to wake up and smell the coffee. Muslim youth today smoke weed - so what can we do? We need to know the danger and harm of drugs as well as the legal and Islamic viewpoints.
DANGERS OF SMOKING WEED:
- 5-10% of cannabis users eventually become dependent.
- Thirty thousand Britons a year might eventually die from cannabis smoking.
- All forms of cannabis are mind-altering and people can become physically and psychologically dependant on cannabis.
- Cannabis impairs concentration, short-term memory, affects rational thought and impairs driving.
- People are 4 times more likely to have a heart attack within an hour of smoking cannabis
- Cannabis contains more than 400 chemicals and 60 carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals)
- Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.
- Cannabis can cause anxiety and depression, psychosis and an increased risk of developing schizophrenia
Reference: British Medical Journal 2003;326:942-943 (3 May)
SMOKING AND HAVING POSSESSION OF DRUGS IS ILLEGAL AND YOU COULD BE SENT DOWN
- Possession: 2 years in jail plus an unlimited fine.
- Supplying/Dealing: 14 years in jail plus an unlimited fine
- Possession with intent to supply: 14 years in jail plus an unlimited fine.
WEED IS HARAM AND CAN TAKE YOU TO THE HELL FIRE!
Weed stays in your bodies for 40 days and in that time your prayers will not be accepted. So if your mum died and you were stoned, you couldn't even pray at your own mum's funeral - just think about that for a sec!
The Prophet (pbuh) said: 'Every intoxicant is unlawful. Allah has promised the one who drinks or uses intoxicating drugs that He will make him/her drink from the sweat or the pus (of impurities) of the inmates of hell.' (Muslim)
Also the Prophet (pbuh) said: 'That which intoxicates in large quantities is unlawful also in small quantities.' (Tirmidhi)
It is absolutely clear that smoking or selling weed and other drugs is totally haram. If you don't stop and ask for forgiveness it could certainly take you to the hell fire and you will receive punishment for it in the grave!
STEPS TO QUIT WEED
- Understand your habit first, when do you go for a joint? After food? When you’re stressed? To join in with friends?Avoid these triggers. Try to get help from family, friends and ex-smokers.
- Replace the bad habit with a good one. Try new exercises, keep your money separate that you would have spent on weed and see it grow
- If your friends smoke weed then you have to stay away from them if you really wanna quit. Replace your weed smoking friends with good non smokers and it will make a massive difference.
- The best way to quit cannabis is to stop straight away, instead of gradually reducing it. Pick a day when you are going to stop smoking weed. If you give in to temptation, don’t get angry about it, try again, it may take a few attempts before you kick this habit.
- If you need help, contact your local G.P., who can advise you or may refer you for counselling.
- Contact your local CDAT- community drugs and alcohol team- which is a confidential service, phone them and organise an appointment. Contact self help agencies, e.g.- Marijuana anonymous, Turning point, Release, FRANK: