Monday, July 31, 2006

Drugs

Phil Willis' Science Select Committee has come up with some fresh thinking on drug classifications.
This can only be a good thing by considering levels of harm, rather than the outdated and anomalous list classification we currently have.
In putting this list together it is good to also measure the harm of other, legal, drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. It is important to differentiate between the levels of penalties for offences for controlled drugs, and the harm that legal and illegal drugs do.

1 Comments:

At 8:19 pm, Anonymous Paul said...

"It is important to differentiate between the levels of penalties for offences for controlled drugs, and the harm that legal and illegal drugs do."

Sorry, but I don't see why. Can you explain? Nor do I understand the committee's recommendation that the Government "decouple the ranking of drugs on the basis of harm from the penalties for possession and trafficking" [p46]. Elsewhere the report welcomes the idea of an evidence-based scale of harm and its importance for informing policy-making and educating people about drugs. Why is an objective scale good for education but bad for regulation?

The answer perhaps lies one the following page: “In our view, it would be unfeasible to expect a penalty-linked classification system to include tobacco and alcohol…”. For “unfeasible”, we should perhaps read “political suicide”?

 

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