The Lancet: Legal drugs more dangerous than many illegal drugs.
One of the world's preeminent medical journals is the Lancet. So when this publication gets into the debate about the harm of illegal and legal drugs, the rest of us should at least pay attention.
A paper published in The Lancet has put together a scale to assess the relative levels of harm from various drugs, both legal and illegal: Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse, The Lancet, Volume 369, Issue 9566, 24 March 2007-30 March 2007, Pages 1047-1053, David Nutt, Leslie A King, William Saulsbury and Colin Blakemore.
The work was carried out by a group of eminent scientists and the surveys were designed to rate drugs for harm for three different categories; physical harm, dependence, and social harm.
The notewory result is that alcohol, which is legal, is one of our most dangerous drugs, and cannabis, which is not legal (except for Amsterdam) is less dangerous than both alcohol and tobacco. Of course, this chart also puts into question our entire drug enforcement policy.
And the third most dangerous category of drugs?
Barbiturates - manufactured by Big Pharma.
Labels: illegal drugs