UK Drugs Chief: Alcohol and Cigarettes More Dangerous Than Ecstasy, LSD and Cannabis

The Belfast Telegraph reports:

The British Government’s chief drug adviser has sparked controversy by claiming ecstasy, LSD and cannabis are less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol.

Professor David Nutt, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, attacked the decision to make cannabis a class B drug.

He accused former home secretary Jacqui Smith, who reclassified the drug, of “distorting and devaluing” scientific research.

Prof Nutt said smoking cannabis created only a “relatively small risk” of psychotic illness. And he claimed advocates of moving ecstasy into class B from class A had “won the intellectual argument”.

All drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, should be ranked by a “harm” index, he said, with alcohol coming fifth behind cocaine, heroin, barbiturates, and methadone.

Tobacco should rank ninth, ahead of cannabis, LSD and ecstasy.

Prof Nutt said: “No one is suggesting that drugs are not harmful. The critical question is one of scale and degree. We need a full and open discussion of the evidence and a mature debate about what the drug laws are for – and whether they are doing their job.” …

[Read more: Belfast Telegraph]


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6 Comments on "UK Drugs Chief: Alcohol and Cigarettes More Dangerous Than Ecstasy, LSD and Cannabis"

  1. Word Eater | Oct 29, 2009 at 12:49 pm |

    As someone who has never used illicit drugs, never smoked, and only drank alcohol for a couple of years after I turned 21, let me say that I wholeheartedly support what Professor Nutt (unfortunate name, that) it saying.
    Just as I have chosen to avoid those substances, others should be free to choose to embrace them.
    Event tobacco could be healthier if not for the monetizing of it by corporations leading them to engineer it to be more addictive at the cost of safety.
    The War on Drugs has been misused almost since its inception. I was a kid during the 80's, the heyday of 'this is your brain on drugs' type commercials. I remember Nancy Reagan's 'just say no' campaign. I remember our school have a DARE program.
    At the same time, the only thing I remember actually learning from all of that is: illegal drugs are bad. Not “why” or “how” or even “which ones.”
    We need better education about the risks of specific drug usage with the freedom to do it anyway if someone wants to.

  2. It's finally coming to light that the dangerous thing about *most* drugs is the corporation/lobbyist/politician/law attempts to keep them criminalized.

  3. mcthorogood | Nov 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm |

    The Nutt went too far. If he had said that EtOH was more dangerous than cannabis, I would have agreed with him, but, he shouldn't have included Ecstasy and LSD.

    As far as the drug war is concerned, the best place to eradicate drugs is in the nose of the American Gringoes.

  4. drugs are very dangerous for young people. i m smoking and drink alcohol … and it is very bad … i can stop because i can by halfy !!!!! i wil be dont smoking … ou yes— good bye

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