16.8.06

The drug league table

The UK Science and Technology Select Committee, which advises the government, commissioned an assessment of 20 legal and illegal stimulants to examine the actual social and physical harm they cause based on scientific evidence. Here is the table they developed:



More info in New Scientist

Interesting to note that alcohol and tobacco rank higher than many illegal drugs that we were told by authorities will surely fry our brain, like LSD, pot and ecstasy.

4 comments:

liezl said...

Hang on, do they mean social and physical harm to the individual user, or to society as a whole? Surely, if as many people use, say, LSD as are currently using alcohol, the amount of harm caused by LSD would be greater than for alcohol?

hein said...

You have a valid point Liezl, although I believe that if everybody who would have gotten drunk on a Friday night decided to take LSD instead, there would be less deaths, damage and crime. Who would drive 150km/h on acid? Who would pick a fight? Sure, some strange behavior would be observable, but I think the next morning the world would be a slightly more beautiful place.

Disclaimer: I have taken acid 5 times, the last being about three years ago. I probably won't do it again, but I did learn a great deal from the experience.

More than I ever have from being drunk...

dcm said...

Acid does have the nasty habit of inducing severe depression, in some individuals. Munching your own wrists with blunt teeth kinda feeling the next morning. This can perpetuate for an entire week with massive social issues in the workplace, relationships at home and sore social engagements...
Pretty f*cked up, but I have to agree with hein. Fewer idiots will be chasing up the death toll on the speedways of SA with fewer clients and suppliers for the SA donor organization.
Result: A slightly more beautiful place.

mazedesigner said...

One thing that's hard to account for is that, when a drug is illegal, its illegality pervades the experience. For example, I think the paranoia associated with smoking pot largely stems from it's illegality. For me, after smoking pot in the United States, when I smoked pot in Amsterdam I felt like I saw marijuana's true character for the first time. So I think it's difficult to predict the effect that legalizing a drug would have on society since its very legalization will change the phenomenon of the drug experience.