14 August 2014
Thanks so much to Neil for offering take over the website, which he has been hosting for me for some years now for free. You are such a star Neil – I’m so grateful to you. I’m no longer campaigning or writing about cannabis, but wanted to thank everyone who has contributed to this website over the years, in particular the families who have shared their stories, and the media who gave us the much-needed coverage of our campaign. Thank you so much!
We were very successful as a Parental Action Group, and had a great deal of support in our campaign to raise awareness about the negative effects of skunk cannabis on the young. The Action Group became a charity, which was set up to offer information and support to families whose lives had been affected by cannabis misuse. The charity is still running and is now called Cannabis Skunk Sense, with a new website.
I moved out of London, with my family, to coastal Suffolk in 2013, and we are loving it here. All our sons are thriving, I’m happy to say! Our middle son has just graduated, with a First in music, and our youngest son has just finished his first year reading Law at university. Our eldest son Will is now very well indeed, beginning his final year of a Sports Journalism degree in London. We now have a good relationship with him, and long may that last – it would appear the dark days are behind us. It took a very long time, but we got there. Phew! It is now 8 years since I began writing about the distressing effects his cannabis use had on our family. To quote Winston Churchill ‘If you are going through hell, keep going!’ which is, in effect, what we did. And you can too, if you are in the midst of difficult family times.
I’m pressing on, and have recently qualified to teach yoga and mindfulness meditation, and I’m now a registered and accredited teacher.Â I have a special interest in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation after having studied with Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s New Kadampa Buddhist organisation in London and Ulverston, for four years. The new website is: www.harnessinghappiness.co.uk.
There were many teachings and practices that kept me going during the very difficult times, and I wanted to share them with others, which is what the new website is all about. I think so many of us are in the red zone, running on high levels of anxiety and adrenalin, and suffering the sort of stresses that were unthinkable only 25years ago. Throw teenage drug use into the mix, and for some families it is too much. Many of you will know that my 36 year old father took his own life many years ago, and I’ve been interested in the area of mental distress, depression and suicide for many years.There is an interesting overlap now between what we now know through Western science about the brain and mind, and with Buddhism. I’m not pushing Buddhism, but many of the these ancient techniques, such as mindfulness, can help us cope with the sometimes intolerable pressures of modern-day life, which can push to our mental limits. Robin Williams died this week, and I heard today that the greatest cause of death among the under 50s is suicide, and most of those are men. We can push through our mental upset and disturbance, we just don’t know how, so let’s learn! Frankly, if I can do it – so can everyone.
I’m teaching yoga and mindfulness in Sudbourne, Suffolk and in September launching weekly lunch-time ‘Happiness’ classes in Woodbridge, which will comprise meditation, mindfulness and relaxation – something we all need, and all of which helped me through some very challenging times. I look forward to hearing from you through the new site, or firstname.lastname@example.org
With very best wishes
From Neil @ The Path:
Welcome to Talking About Cannabis, where there are big changes afoot.
This website is now in the process of being re-designed, re-written and generally re-done. I really want this website to remain online and act as an educated, reliable resource for people looking for more information, help and discussion on the subject of cannabis use.
I hope after the website is done and you have had a good look around that you will be in my camp, which is that cannabis has a negative impact on most peoples lives and should be avoided. However don’t think that this website will be completely one sided, I plan on laying out both sides of the debate and allowing people that are for cannabis to have their say. I will also be interviewing cannabis users to get their views.
Why am I doing this? Well cannabis has had a negative impact on my life and I have seen it negatively affect others. I realise that there may be some medical applications where it can be beneficial but I think in general and for most people it is a negative force in their life. I know lots of people will disagree and seek to disprove what I say on here but there will be no scaremongering or “demonising” cannabis on here. Just simple, reasoned arguments that hopefully you agree with.
So stay tuned for the new website, it’s a lot of work and I don’t get paid for it, so I have to do it when I can. In the meantime feel free to browse around what content is left from the old website. Once the new site is up I will send an email around the current users and see what everyone thinks.