Drugs that are legal cause at least as much damage, if not more, than drugs that are illicit,” -Wim van den Brink, a professor of psychiatry and addiction at the University of Amsterdam
It seems the marijuana gods have bestowed upon their devotees a study that couldn’t back up their position more. A new study found alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin, LSD and crack cocaine. Experts in Britain ranked alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana based on how destructive they are to the individual user and society as a whole.
I agree with their findings and I think it’s great that people are bothering to look at things differently and examine drug classifications. It is the very classification of alcohol as a legal drug that makes people think it’s more benign than it is, thereby greatly downplaying its role in breaking up families and its economic costs like health care, social services, and lets not forget prison. This study was paid for by Britain’s Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and perhaps it may make some reconsider the cost of imprisoning someone for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The study found the most lethal to individuals were heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth.
When including their wider social effects, alcohol topped the list by far with heroin and crack cocaine following as the deadliest.
Hallucinogens marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower.
Experts found: “When drunk in excess, alcohol damages nearly all organ systems. It is also connected to higher death rates and is involved in a greater percentage of crime than most other drugs, including heroin.” -AP
They’re not suggesting we resurrect prohibition but advocate countries targeting problem drinkers, education programs, raising the price of alcohol and reconsidering how countries classify drugs.
Laws don’t have anything to do with how dangerous a drug is though and governments are heavily swayed by lobbyist and tax revenues from tobacco and alcohol industries. As Prop 19 in California shows, undoing drug laws can cause serious problems when going up against widely held but unexamined beliefs, drug economies and the prison industrial complex.