Well to be fair, you won't come across too many people who don't conflate actual study findings and their own political motivations. David Nutt has said weed (and other drugs) should be legalised for recreational use many times.I haven't read every article of David Nutt but the one's I have seen, he comes across as a con man trying to mislead and deceive.
He does this by confusing issues of medical marijuana and recreational use:
"200 million US citizens now have access to medical marijuana and 100 million can legally buy recreational cannabis. Seventeen other countries including Holland, Belgium and Germany have made cannabis a medicine. Israel has opened the world’s first university course in medical marijuana. Yet in the UK all the government can say to the requests of the patient community is their infantile mantra: drugs are harmful – cannabis is a drug, and so it is harmful, so we will keep it illegal.
This simplistic approach is flawed in many ways. Morphine is illegal when used recreationally – yet is allowed for therapeutic purposes – so why not cannabis, a herb with a long tradition in medicine? Prohibition denies patients access and, worse, means they can be actively persecuted for its use. It is estimated that at least 30,000 people a day in the UK break the cannabis laws by using it for medicinal purposes, and if they are caught then they must be prosecuted, as there is no longer a defence of medical necessity."
Morphine is illegal when used recreationally – yet is allowed for therapeutic purposes – so why not cannabis, a herb with a long tradition in medicine?www.the-tls.co.uk
1) The US has recreational use dressed up as medical. Having dodgy prescriptions and smoking a bong is not medical use.......it is recreational.
2) Then comparing Morphine, which has proper controls is lunacy. Again smoking a bong can not be compared to the proper controls around morphine
3) 30,000 people smoking a bong in the UK is not medical use
If he wants to be credibile, just come out and say, he wants to legalise recreation use.
If he only wants medical use, then lets start talking about drug research, 8-10 year trials, controlled manufacturing of products under licence and controls, insurance, prescriptions by medical practitioners, the pharmaceutical benefits scheme etc etc.
I'm a big believer in the opportunity of medical marijuana and even owned marijuana farms supply to the US defence force. I'm also happy for people to discretely pull a bong on the occasion.
I am however concerned for regular bongs smokers, their kids, those they share the roads with, those they work with etc etc. I'm also concerned about guys like David Nutt, confusing very separate issues for their own agenda.
I was not referencing him as an infallible source but the poster I was responding to was asking a question around the harm pot does versus the harm alcohol does without the obfuscation of "total numbers", which is a fair context as obviously total numbers would be skewed towards to alcohol.
David Nutt performed quite an extensive study commissioned by the UK government in 2008-9, which set out to rank drugs in the order of their potential for harm as a reference for re-shaping future legislation. The results were quite controversial because alcohol was still in the top 5 for potential harm, where as mushrooms and LSD were deemed the safest (I think weed was towards the lower end). The UK government who commissioned the study essentially threw out the findings because they didn't like them.
The study is a very interesting read and I think it shows that governments generally have a pre-conceived notion of what they want to do and any evidence to the contrary is ignored. When we are talking about legalising weed, I think this point supersedes everything: the prohibition/enforcement of weed is completely out of kilter with the associated harms.