Down on ecstasy

An unintentionally funny headline from The Telegraph: “Home Office considers downgrading ecstasy”, presumably to just a general feeling of contentment.

The serious story behind the headline is the annual ritual in the UK where the government asks a panel of scientific advisors about the link between the legal classification of drugs and the scientific evidence for their harm, and then ignores them.

This recent review is being headed up by psychopharmacologist David Nutt who was also involved in the government commissioned report that used the scientific evidence to rank recreational drugs, both legal and illegal, by their dangerousness. As is traditional, the list bore no relation to the legal classification and was ignored.

Not that it matters, as a recent World Health Organisation study that found that drug laws in any particular country were not related to the extent of drug use by the population.

There’s nothing like an evidence-based drugs policy.

Link to Telegraph story (thanks Tenyen!).
Link to World Health organisation study in PLoS Medicine.

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