#1
Dr Celia Morgan, UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, says: "Given that the Misuse of Drugs Act aims to signal to young people the harmfulness of drugs, this suggests a flaw with the current classification of drugs. We found that drug users rated legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco as more harmful than Class A substances like LSD and ecstasy. We found a high correlation between harm ratings by users and those made previously by scientific experts across all substances, suggesting users are well informed about the harms of drugs.

"The reported prevalence of use of each substance also suggests that the classification of drugs has little bearing on the choice of whether to use substances or not. For example ecstasy, a Class A substance, was the fourth most regularly used psychoactive drug, according to our survey.

"We also asked drug users about their perceived benefits of taking psychoactive substances, as this is clearly important in a person's decision of whether to take a drug or not. Psychoactive substances LSD, cannabis and ecstasy were consistently rated as having the highest short and long-term benefits. These findings add to the debate on the validity of the current classification of drugs in the UK.

"Worldwide, there are an estimated two billion alcohol users, 1.3 billion smokers and 185 million users of other drugs. Despite public health campaigns, levels of substance misuse continue to rise. One of the reasons for this may be the public's confusion about the actual risks of different drugs as they often receive conflicting messages from the legal system, the media and health campaigns. We recommend that future health campaigns consider whether to include the benefits of some drugs. By only citing harms, such campaigns likely represent - from a user's perspective - an unbalanced view and may mean that the overall message is more likely to be ignored."

The authors are following up the study with the launch of a new larger survey, in collaboration with the Beckley Foundation, hosted at internationaldrugsurvey.org.

...

A similar survey of experts including psychiatrists and pharmacologists led by Professor Nutt in 2007 found that, of the same 20 psychoactive substances rated on a 'rational' scale, experts rated alcohol as the fifth most dangerous drug, whereas MDMA/ecstasy was rated 18th out of twenty, despite its Class A status. Overall, there was no relationship between a drug's legal status and its rated harmfulness.


http://www.physorg.com/news178315435.html#top

Go drug users!
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#2
Quote by Ur all $h1t
Dr Celia Morgan, UCL Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit, says



U! C! U! C!


I'll read the rest of the article now.
#5
The only reason that some illegal drugs are illegal is because the government does not get tax on the sale of these drugs. Making them illegal forces people to turn to taxed drugs such as alcohol or cigarettes.
The only reason that the government does not legalise some of the drugs which are currently illegal is because they have created too much hype surrounding the negatives of these drugs, making it impossible to legalise them without admitting that they exaggerated the harmful effects of them.
We'll be washed and buried one day my friend
And the time we were given will be left for the world
The flesh that lived and loved will be eaten by plague
So let the memories be good for those who stay
#6
Quote by Malakian=God
The only reason that the government does not legalise some of the drugs which are currently illegal is because they have created too much hype surrounding the negatives of these drugs, making it impossible to legalise them without admitting that they exaggerated the harmful effects of them.


I don't see what's wrong, even on a PR level, with admitting that past governments made mistakes.
#7
How could they possibly go from a full on campaign about the dangers of drugs, to telling people that it is now ok to buy them from certain licensed establishments without losing credability (or rather what is left of their credability)?
We'll be washed and buried one day my friend
And the time we were given will be left for the world
The flesh that lived and loved will be eaten by plague
So let the memories be good for those who stay
#8
Quote by webbtje
I don't see what's wrong, even on a PR level, with admitting that past governments made mistakes.

It's possibly because all of the major parties have one out against drugs at one oint or another. I'm a member of an Irish political party, one who while they haven't really talked about drugs all that much would be against them when asked and their policy would be against them, so asking them to change that is difficult because it means saying "we were wrong, this is the truth", which is better than continuing to be wrong, but right now most people don't realise that.
I know trying to convince older people that drugs like MDMA/ecstasy, Cannabis and LSD are less harmful than legal drugs is next to impossible.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#9
Quote by webbtje
I don't see what's wrong, even on a PR level, with admitting that past governments made mistakes

Unfortunately, in the UK at least, the current government has been anti-drugs. In justifying the reclassification of cannabis from Class C back to B, the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said that they were doing it to be on the safe side. She said something like, "some people are saying we should legalise and wait and see what happens; well I don't want to wait and see."

Luckily Labour aren't going to win the next election
#10
Quote by blue_strat


Luckily Labour aren't going to win the next election



Sadly, the Tories will, and a PR man will be the next PM. Going to be a fun few years.