Wednesday, March 7, 2018

UK drug expert calls prohibition 'irrational'

Prof David Nutt: 'It's irrational to deny people access to LSD'- Radio New Zealand:

February 25, 2018 - "Outspoken UK drug expert David Nutt argues for regulated access to any drug less harmful than alcohol, including cannabis and Ecstasy. He is a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and author of Drugs: Without The Hot Air (2012).

"'My view is that any drug that is less harmful to the person that uses it than alcohol should be available as an alternative to alcohol - in a form where the harms are minimised,' he told Sunday Morning. 'That doesn’t mean a free market, that doesn’t mean opening up cannabis shops to compete with supermarkets selling beer. It means having access to cannabis, and ecstasy and other drugs perhaps, such as mephedrone and mushrooms - in pharmacies, possibly with electronic cards that allow you to have a certain amount per year.'"

"'Prof Nutt said in the UK the leading causes of drug deaths were tobacco, alcohol and heroin and opiates – all much higher than deaths from ecstasy (MDMA). 'Regulated access to drugs that are less harmful than alcohol will reduce the harms of alcohol, hopefully reduce the use of drugs more harmful than alcohol like crystal meth and P and heroin, and will actually overall reduce the societal damage from drugs.'

"Research on certain drugs and their potential therapeutic value was being denied, he said.... 'There have been two studies done ... and one of the most promising uses is in helping people come to terms with dying. Often under psychedelics people become "at one" with the universe. I'm very interested in that, in helping people deal with that terminal, difficult part of their lives. These two American studies showed that a single psilocybin treatment helped people become less anxious about dying.'

"He says opiates are not the be-all and end-all in terminal pain treatment. 'Under opiates you're constipated, you're confused, you have a dry mouth.... And using opiates to deal with chronic pain syndrome you can also get excessive use and people selling them on the streets so I think psychedelics offer an alternative.... If you allow people to take morphine for pain control, which kills in the UK nearly 2000 people a year, it's irrational to deny people access to LSD which kills nobody'....

"Prof Nutt was chair of the UK government’s advisory committee on the misuse of drugs until 2009, when he was sacked for suggesting alcohol was more dangerous than many illegal drugs.... Though alcohol was a leading cause of death under the age of 50 in the UK, politicians did not want to take on the alcohol industry, he says, so they make a show of being hard on drugs."

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