Jdsk wrote:I really like the idea of drug policy being based on benefits and harms rather than history. And if it were it would be a lot more favourable to cannabis and a lot less to alcohol.
You are probably aware of the work of David Nutt.
He was chairman on the Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs until he came up with conclusions the politicians did not like.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Nutt
Various drugs were given a ranking which depended on harm to the user and
harm to society.
MCDA modelling showed that heroin, crack cocaine, and metamfetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals (part scores 34, 37, and 32, respectively), whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others (46, 21, and 17, respectively). Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54) in second and third places.
The issue of the mismatch between lawmakers' classification of recreational drugs, in particular that of cannabis, and scientific measures of their harmfulness surfaced again in October 2009, after the publication of a pamphlet containing a lecture Nutt had given to the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London in July 2009. In this, Nutt repeated his view that illicit drugs should be classified according to the actual evidence of the harm they cause, and presented an analysis in which nine 'parameters of harm' (grouped as 'physical harm', 'dependence', and 'social harms') revealed that alcohol or tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy or cannabis. In this ranking, alcohol came fifth behind heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and methadone, and tobacco ranked ninth, ahead of cannabis, LSD and ecstasy, he said.
I have always been interested in comparing the "noble experiment" of alcohol prohibition in the USA with their war on drugs.
Prohibition was abandoned when it became clear that the social damage it caused and its futility made it absurd. I suppose some states are moving towards relaxation of cannabis laws, but anti drug laws put so many people in their horrible prisons, and so many of these are black, that much more rational drug laws are needed. Our own drug policy is hardly a success either.