Ecstasy is no more dangerous than riding a horse, says top scientist

Entirely co-incidentally, I happened to mentioned this issue during our class on regulation yesterday.

As I said, the argument has always been that in terms of risk of death, taking this illegal drug is far safer than riding a horse.

Whether anyone should in fact take illegal drugs is another issue. As is the connection between street crime and organised crime and illegal drugs.

It is also entirely predictable, given the traditionally dire level of the debate on illegal drugs, that our poor professor has got into trouble for pointing out something which is a. true and b. he is paid to have a sensible opinion on.

Professor Nutt (unfortunate name) really is the government's top scientific adviser on the subject and runs the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs -  the ACMD.

For me, this is a great news story. Next week, as Sky points out, the ACMD is expected to recommend ecstasy be downgraded from a class A to a class B drug. Wonderful stuff.

 

 

 

Comments

So cannabis and ecstasy could be in the same class?

This time last year cannabis was considered a low risk, minor drug. For students, the unemployed and the stressed. And pills were the big no no. I've had a muck around with cannabis but never dreamed of popping pills. Cannabis (i think) has gotten more unsafe with dealers now weighing down each 'deal' with fibre glass so they can put less drugs in and get a heavier weight, as you would probably guess, that can be quite dangerous. And also with more chemicals etc it is less 'pure' than it was back say in the 60s and 70s, so from that point of view I can understand why cannabis has been put up a class.

BUT

Downgrading ecstacy could cause some people who still smoke cannabis regardless (which I assume would be most users) to think "Hey, ecstacy is just as safe as cannabis, lets get some of that too".So thats more ecstacy on the streets and more people taking drugs. 

I think it would be better to teach people safer ways to ride horses rather than reclassifying drugs all the time. 

By robhayes

BTW, Rob you spell ecstasy correctly the first time and then wrongly. Best is to use a proper old fashioned dictionary or, IF THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE, a reliable spell checker correctly set up for UK English.

By richardpendry

The problem, with drugs (compared to horse-riding) is that the consumption of them, is not controlled or taught. With governmental control, taxation and other measures, to help maybe created post-usage problems, the general drug market could be used to pay for a lot of things. For example, the upcoming demographic crisis. Furthermore, such treatment would promote intelligent reasoning and informative decisions behind it, further proving to the general population, that drugs are bad.

One example of that, is that the general Dutch population, does not even like various low-class drugs, sold around the country. It is the tourists, that seem to be charmed by the idea, not the 'normal people'.

By jaakpardi

Picture lesson one on how to do drugs, for a group of fourteen-year-olds. Teacher explains that Es are safer than riding horses.

But then spoils it all when he reveals that a small number of them will die unpredictably from severe toxic shock if they take even one pill.

 Um. 

Legalization is American, btw. It's legalisation. 

 

 

By richardpendry

I know, habits die hard. Like Bruce Willis.

And I know, such approach has a major downside to it. However, even if highly controlled and followed, the industry itself could provide a lot more to the budget, than it takes away now. I'm not saying, that such legalisation would have to be so extensive, that you could buy crack from the local pharmacy (however, in some countries that is to an extent, the case, as it is used in detoxing major addiction problems). There could be a lot more done on education, restrictions and usage, than just sit on your high horse and say 'all drugs are crap'. The possibilities of using this to a better extent are better, than spending millions on blocking it. Drugmoney is major source of finance for criminal organisations - what if they (sounds weird) get legal and controlled competition? 

By jaakpardi

I couldn't agree more that presently illegal drugs should be and I predict will be legalised.

Laura's point about how uncool legal illegal drugs become is one I've heard before from Dutch people. 

Probably the all-time best comment I've ever heard on drugs was from a 21-year-old German girl I was interviewing in Thailand. We asked why the British take more illegal drugs than almost anyone in the world. She sensibly wouldn't speculate but said sadly that she used to take drugs, but, "Of course I stopped when I realised they make you feel happy at the time. Then you feel sad afterwards."

 

 

By richardpendry

...what you say about the attitude towards drugs in the Netherlands. A reason for that is probably also because it just seems so "normal" to see, say, a coffeeshop there and have some drugs available, and tourists from other European countries, where drug laws are much stricter, get very excited about it... I know some Germans who seem to be way more interested in certain drugs just because they're illegal whereas none of my Dutch friends is like that, they just don't make such a fuss about the whole issue and don't even seem interested in taking any drugs.

By laurahartmann

I think the simple word association makes this drug more acceptable in your colleagues eyes, it's a subliminal thing. I perfectly understand what you tried to say here but are you sure everybody in the classroom understood it? So, we don't dye from ecstasy, but also we shouldn't ride a horse without training.
Donna, drug detox counselor

By donna (not verified)

I wonder why is ecstasy not dangerous and it's all chemical and marijuana 100% natural is so dangerous?And marijuana treats problems like epilepsy or bulimia so get some "bulimia treatment"

By diaboliq (not verified)

I usually don't listen to what doctors/scientists/whatever have to say, because they would do anything to scary us all and to make us pay them a visit so that they could profit, but I must say that they are right in some way. Everything on this earth creates addiction like television, animals,people, coca-cola, eating. But there exist drug addiction treatment but who can tell me what treatment could I possibly find for television addiction for instance. I am not saying that "Drugs should be legalized" but mass media has created such a panic when it comes to drugs and alcohol but when it comes to the box they transmit these gossips and news through, they never say anything bad. They only want us to believe only what they think is dangerous not what really is.

By JoeAnne10 (not verified)