That Pothead in Your Philosophy Class Was Apparently Right

2007 March 23
by CajoleJuice


So some British study of drugs has led to a proposal for a new classification of harmful substances. I could’ve sworn I heard about this study a few weeks ago, but maybe that was an unrelated one that came to exactly the same conclusions. This in particular sounds extremely familiar:

Heroin and cocaine were ranked most dangerous, followed by barbiturates and street methadone. Alcohol was the fifth-most harmful drug and tobacco the ninth most harmful. Cannabis came in 11th, and near the bottom of the list was Ecstasy.

Weed less harmful than alcohol? That really may not come as that big a shock to many people, though. On the other hand, the ecstasy ranking might. The rankings were based on “the physical harm to the user, the drug’s potential for addiction, and the impact on society of drug use.” I think it’s safe to deduce that alcohol’s high ranking can be attributed to the social acceptance of its use that has led to rampant drunk driving and alcoholism. And maybe getting drunk every once in a while is also more harmful than getting high every once in a while; but I’m no scientific authority on that subject. Doing either in abundance, like anything else, isn’t the best of ideas. I can’t say I have much experience with drugs, so I can’t really speak much of their effects on individual people, or even society as a whole.

In summary, this is just more ammunition for the “legalize marijuana!” wagon. But this group just needs to realize it doesn’t have anything to do with the scientific evidence at this point – like I said, it’s all about society’s overall view of it, and it’s still not a positive view. At least the study does agree with society as a whole on the fact that heroin and coke are pretty fucking bad. That stuff can fuck up anyone’s life in record time.

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