GARDAÍ in Cork have warned that new strains of cannabis are making users more aggressive instead of having the traditional mellowing effect.
Head of Community Policing, Sergeant Stewart Philpott, said cannabis has always been around, but the problem now is the strands of herb being grown.
Sgt Philpott said: “The growers are crossing strains and a lot of it is very strong.
“Cannabis would have traditionally been a very mellow drug. People end up very relaxed and chilled out, but now they are getting very aggressive with it. It is much stronger. Not all of it, but people don’t know what they are trying.”
Sgt Philpott said a lot of drug users in Cork have started to avoid cannabis, because of the effect it has on them.
He also raised issues with new types of chemical drugs.
“An awful lot of the stuff now is chemicals and people literally don’t know what they are taking,” he said.
A lot of the drugs are manufactured around the college area and it can be incredibly dangerous, he added.
“It’s all powder MDMA, ecstasy, and you don’t know what you are taking. It could be produced anywhere, there could be anything in it.
“Then you have a lot of chemical cocaine and people haven’t a clue what is in it.”
The sergeant warned that while there is some discretion around drinking on the street, the force has no discretion around drugs.
“We have absolutely no discretion. If you are caught with drugs you will end up in court. That is the bottom line.”
Sgt Philpott said that people need to think about the consequences of getting caught with drugs.
“You hear terrible stories of people in their 40s travelling for work and being pulled out of a queue for a drug conviction saying ‘you can’t enter the United States’.
“It might be for five pounds worth of stuff, 25 years ago, but it never goes off your record, and places like Canada, United States, Australia — the countries you need visas to get into — they won’t let you in.”
Sgt Philpott said it is possible to get a caution with drinking, but not drugs.
“You will end up in court and with a conviction and all that comes with it.”