Saturday, March 24, 2007

The harm of illegal drugs, a study in The Lancet



From the article:

"...a new paper published in The Lancet has looked at this issue and has put together a more rational scale to assess the relative levels of harm from drugs, both legal and illegal. The work was carried out by a cross-disciplinary group of rather eminent scientists, including Prof. Colin Blakemore, the head of the Medical Research Council (equivalent to the NIH). The study involved surveying two groups; a national group of leading psychiatrists, and a more general group made up of experts from a range of disciplines including forensics, pharmacology, the police and legal services, chemistry, and epidemiology."

"The paper highlights the failings of the current Misuse of Drugs Act, and although they do not suggest that alcohol or tobacco ought to be criminalized, from a scientific perspective they "saw no clear distinction between socially acceptable and illicit substances. The fact that the two most widely used legal drugs lie in the upper half of the ranking of harm is surely important information that should be taken into account in public debate on illegal drug use.""


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