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Moosh
A team from the Academy of Medical Sciences have this week said that the current UK system of drug classification, A, B, C, is inadequate and unfit for purpose.

They have released an alternative ranking, based on the harm they do to the individual and to society and whether or not they induce dependence.

Their ranking looks like this:

(the colours indicating current ranking)

Professor David Nutt, who lead the team, said "The current system is not fit for purpose. Let's treat people as adults. We should have a much more considered debate how we deal with dangerous drugs."

He also pointed out that 52 people die per year from alcohol poisoning in the UK, compared to 10 per year from ecstasy.

BBC article

What do we think?
pgrmdave
Cultural factors to need to be taken into account. While alcohol may have many negative factors, the US is still paying for what happened during prohibition, and probably will be for decades and centuries (if we last that long) to come. Same thing with tobacco. I'd be worried about some of those drugs that are considered less dangerous. Steroids are not only bad for your body, but they are extremely dangerous in that use of them by atheletes encourages younger players to take them. And the competitiveness of sports is such that if some players are taking steroids, the other players are more likely to do so simply to remain competitive. Ecstasy has not been around long enough for us to really know the long term effects (25, 35, 50 years down the road).
Forever Unknown
This is a very quick initial-thoughts-probably-arse kind of post:

It's a weird one. I certainly wouldn't classify cannabis over a lot of the things they have done, for example. Cannabis isn't lethal, unlike solvents or ecstasy. It's not a hallucinogenic like LSD so less likely to make you mental on your first go.

For me, it's a question of whether the law should reflect the overall damage of the drug, or be more concerned about the damage on the individual and then society.

And of course loads more people died from alcohol than ecstasy - loads more people drink alcohol. Silly man!
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ Mar 23 2007, 05:10 PM) *
He also pointed out that 52 people die per year from alcohol poisoning in the UK, compared to 10 per year from ecstasy.


QUOTE (Forever Unknown @ Mar 23 2007, 05:23 PM) *
And of course loads more people died from alcohol than ecstasy - loads more people drink alcohol. Silly man!


I was going to post something along the same lines....so I will!

That's a bullsh1t statistic. Alcohol is FAR more prolific what with it being readily available in various places (pub's, offie's, even supermarkets for crying out loud). It'd be better to present it as a percentage, x% of people that drink die from alcohol compared to y% of people that use ecstasy and die from it. Treating us as adults is he?
Radaga
the probem is the classification takes into account "damage to society" and not just to oneīs.

cannabis zombies cant die from it, but they can and do stupidify their sect among society, and is harmful to it, on that p.o.v.
Forever Unknown
I dunno. An old friend of mine was a hardcore cannabis user and smoked it as though she were smoking cigarettes. She and her partner were nothing like how heavy cannabis users are stereotyped as being - they had a nice home, very good jobs, etc. And while that may not be the case for everyone, I feel saying that they "stupify their sect among society" (whatever that means) is a bit too much of a generalisation.
Radaga
well, usually cannabis takers are a bit slow in their minds. Even if they claim to be more creative and free. The reactions are not quite as sharp as it would be expected. This has nothing to do with success or money. But the risks of involving oneself on an accident smoking pot and driving (or drinking and driving, for that matter) must be included when you measure "risk for society"

And yes, it is a big generalization. But so it is "drugs are bad for you" "winners dont use drugs" "Cigarrets kill" and the others. We all know several people who smoked till ripe old age, millionaries who do take drugs now and then, and the alleged beneficts alchool and cannabis to health.

Anyway, complicated issue. wink.gif
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Radaga @ Apr 2 2007, 02:33 PM) *
and the alleged beneficts alchool and cannabis to health.


I like that...

A glass or so of red wine a day is actually beneficial to your health, done to excess it can cause all sorts of trouble. Also, my brother in law, while undergoing chemo-therapy found cannabis helped him deal with the side effects, which I think is where the benefit lies with that particular drug. It has no inherant benefits but it helps people cope with debilitating symptoms.

QUOTE (Radaga @ Apr 2 2007, 02:33 PM) *
Even if they claim to be more creative and free.

I can just imagine the slogan: "Dope, it makes you arty".
Radaga
Actually, the red wine myth is a myth because red=blood.

ANY alchool, on moderate ammounts, is good for your health, actually, it should be taken on a semi-daily basis.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alcohol/SC00024

Health benefits

* Reduce your risk of developing heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and intermittent claudication
* Reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack
* Possibly reduce your risk of strokes, particularly ischemic strokes
* Lower your risk of gallstones
* Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes

Harvard> http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol.html
Medical News Today> http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=3968
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Radaga @ Apr 3 2007, 03:36 PM) *
ANY alchool, on moderate ammounts, is good for your health


I doubt that, considering the crap you get in some lagers/drinks. Red wine was an example, though thinking about it, I doubt all red wines are made through an entirely natural process.
Anyway, good copy and paste work skippy, I was particularly entertained to learn that suicide is directly attributed to alcohol, rather than some underlying mental or emotional issue.
Daria
I have been discussing this issue with a number of people, and during one of these talks, we came up with the idea of dilluted ecstasy. According to the scale, it isn't as bad as alcohol, but the trouble is that when you take a pill, it is the whole hit in one go (unless it has been very badly cut with something else). You can't decide to take just a little of it- it is all or nothing. Whereas, with alcohol, pot and cigarettes, you can decide to 'take' just a little and not get pissed/ monged/ cancer ridden. (The latter being a light hearted joke- one cigarette kills the cillia in your throat and does damage).
So we decided that perhaps ecstacy SHOULD be downgraded but as long as it came in smaller doses, was produced to it was cut with safe substances and was ensured to not be cat worming tablets.

I also think that poppers should not be availiable for kids. I have seen shops selling them to 12 and 13 year olds. Why don't they just give them a bag of glue and some aerosols?

The crucial thing is, though, is that there will always be people who need an escape from things and will always use drugs to get there; no matter what their classification. The government needs to spend more time and money on giving people the support they may need in order to get out of a long standing habit, instead of standing there and just wagging a finger and tutting.
I'm fully aware that there's always casual users of each drug, but it is rarely they who are most effected. Excepting the drink drivers who cause accidents, and excstasy users who died of dehydration or over consumption of water.
Radaga
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Apr 3 2007, 02:49 PM) *
QUOTE (Radaga @ Apr 3 2007, 03:36 PM) *

ANY alchool, on moderate ammounts, is good for your health


I doubt that, considering the crap you get in some lagers/drinks. Red wine was an example, though thinking about it, I doubt all red wines are made through an entirely natural process.
Anyway, good copy and paste work skippy, I was particularly entertained to learn that suicide is directly attributed to alcohol, rather than some underlying mental or emotional issue.


The poor qulity beverages should not be considered when dealing with alchool beneficts, because wrong fermentation/destilation leaves them with excess aldehydes, main responsibles for hangovers.

The beneficts are caused by the tiny ammounts of alchools on beverages. If you mix arsenic with alchool and drink, dont blame alcohol for death. wink.gif

As for the copy-paste, hey, I am an economist, not a doctor, couldnīt get the needed credibility with a text of my own. Usually I DO write my own posts, skipper.
Forever Unknown
QUOTE (Daria @ Apr 4 2007, 11:58 AM) *
produced to it was cut with safe substances and was ensured to not be cat worming tablets.


This, of course, could then lend weight to the argument for legalising all drugs and making this the case with everything. I'm actually not too up on that subject myself, although I do recall hearing someone talk about it and me thinking "what a cunning idea!". Ironically, I was probably drunk at the time.

Obviously there's more to the argument than having pure substances (oh, and the tax the government could put on it), but my brain isn't remembering. Thought I'd drop it into the conversation, though, in case someone does know more about that aspect of it.
Daria
If they were legal, hypothetically, the government and health bodies would be able to manage them and make sure that the drugs people were taking were "safe".

High Society by Ben Elton puts an interesting spin on it.
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Radaga @ Apr 4 2007, 01:51 PM) *
If you mix arsenic with alchool and drink, dont blame alcohol for death. wink.gif


Funny you mention that, cider contains arsenic. (It's in the apple pips.)
Radaga
Same for Calvados.

The problem is the ammount of arsenic that can kill ammount to a bottle 500 ml full of powdered seeds.

considering a seed is about 0,1% of the mass of the apple, and that cider and calvados are 80% apples, you will need to drink a few gallons to die from arsenic that way.
Forever Unknown
That sounds like a challenge! To the pub!
Radaga
count me in wink.gif
pgrmdave
QUOTE
Actually, the red wine myth is a myth because red=blood.


Well, I can't link to it as it was a paper article, but this is incorrect. Red wine is higher in anti-oxidants than many alcohols, and thus truly is better. At least in that regard. Excercise is even better than alcohol, I'd recommend it over drinking a glass a day tongue.gif
Forever Unknown
Yes, mostly. Alcohol does have a few benefits medically - it thins the blood which can help blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart attacks and maybe even cholesterol. But as with everything fun, it has to be in moderation.

Also, if you're going to drink spirits, clear ones are supposedly better - less chemicals an' stuff.
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Radaga @ Apr 5 2007, 04:09 PM) *
Same for Calvados.

The problem is the ammount of arsenic that can kill ammount to a bottle 500 ml full of powdered seeds.

considering a seed is about 0,1% of the mass of the apple, and that cider and calvados are 80% apples, you will need to drink a few gallons to die from arsenic that way.


So...you could blame the alcohol and not the arsenic?


QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Apr 7 2007, 12:25 AM) *
Red wine is higher in anti-oxidants than many alcohols, and thus truly is better.


That sounds familiar...
Radaga
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Apr 11 2007, 08:43 PM) *
QUOTE (Radaga @ Apr 5 2007, 04:09 PM) *

Same for Calvados.

The problem is the ammount of arsenic that can kill ammount to a bottle 500 ml full of powdered seeds.

considering a seed is about 0,1% of the mass of the apple, and that cider and calvados are 80% apples, you will need to drink a few gallons to die from arsenic that way.


So...you could blame the alcohol and not the arsenic?



If you can drink gallons of cider in one shot, and still be up to blame anything, you deserve a medal ;P
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