The drug laws don’t work, leading scientist explains (again)

(C) No Good Reason

Whether you advocate or prefer to avoid them altogether there’s no denying illegal consumables are commonplace in clubland, and have been for some time. Much to the disliking of tabloid press, politicians, and the police.

According to a respected, albeit controversial scientist though this is indicative of widespread demonisation, and ignorance, rather than logic. Professor David Nutt will already be familiar to a few of our readers- he’s the drug advisor that was sacked by the Government after he wrote a paper in 2009 claiming LSD and Ecstasy are less harmful than alcohol, before last year penning a column proposing people be allowed to test the quality and strength of the latter. His new work, Drugs- Without The Hot Air, continues the argument, explaining that all such substances are harmful to people, but the level of threat needs to be judged relatively, with a variety of factors- from medical to international and economical- taken into account, and our classification system therefore requires re-appraisal.

Most worryingly there’s also a great deal of hard evidence which suggests the powers that be don’t want to acknowledge our current modus isn’t fit for purpose, despite the lack of success, overwhelming expense on everyone’s part (both financial and human), and ongoing prevalence of substance use across the world. “A rational evidence-based approach to drugs legislation and treatment” is proposed, which contrasts with today’s hard-lined approach. Those interested to learn more could do worse than hear this information from the horse’s mouth, so click here to listen to a Guardian.co.uk interview with the author, psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist in question.

Needless to say this isn’t the first time someone who isn’t interested in staying up all night dancing has come out with this kind of message, and it doesn’t take much effort to think of examples to support the notion. The Government-issued 2002 ‘Guide to Safer Clubbing’ clarifies that policy is now to manage as oppose to eradicate the drug problem in UK clubs (indicative of an acceptance that it will happen, and stamping it out altogether is impossible). Meanwhile, in the wider world, today the Mail Online is asking ‘Does it matter if politicians took drugs in their youth?‘, and the response from its readers is surprisingly even. For the most outspoken of all conservative voices in Britain this speaks volumes, further fuelling the question ‘is the international stance on highs and lows now outdated?’

 


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