maandag 15 oktober 2012

Drugs - without the hot air: Minimising the harms of legal and illegal drugs (David Nutt)


Certainly, nobody was calling cannabis safe. However, as my 2007 report had shown, across a range of different sorts of harm it was by no means as damaging as many other drugs, particularly alcohol. This was a point I made in my lecture, and which got picked up in the radio interview: “surely you can’t be saying alcohol is more harmful than cannabis?” I replied yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying, it’s there in my 2007 paper, which at the time was reported on the front page of the Independent and the Guardian so it was hardly a secret. But this question was repeated in the other interviews that week – everybody wanted the quote that alcohol was more harmful than cannabis. It seemed like an entirely defensible thing to say, as it was based on my own scientific work, and backed up by a similar study from Holland which had agreed that alcohol deserved to be ranked among the most harmful of drugs. In these interviews I also observed that the government had asked the ACMD to determine which Class cannabis belonged in, and then hadn’t followed our advice.

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