Three reasons why scientific advice on drugs is ignored
David Nutt, along with many other leading scientists, published a study a few years ago that showed how the overall harms associated with some legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, dramatically exceed the harms of some illegal drugs, such as cannabis, ecstasy and LSD – and even the harms of heroin and cocaine.18 Apr 2018
David Nutt, along with many other leading scientists, published a study a few years ago that showed how the overall harms associated with some legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, dramatically exceed the harms of some illegal drugs, such as cannabis, ecstasy and LSD – and even the harms of heroin and cocaine. Of course, these top scientists were right, but politicians continue to ignore scientific advice, and society continues to be largely in favour of current drug laws.
Here are three factors that might explain this paradox:
1. Capitalism and class
Noam Chomsky, an American social critic and political activist, offered some interesting arguments to explain how capitalism and class shape the legal status of drugs.
Cannabis, for instance, is a plant that can be easily grown in someone’s backyard, so it is not as easy to commercialise for profit. Tobacco, on the other hand, needs industrial technologies and hence is a suitable product for commercialisation. Similarly, making high quality alcoholic drinks – a fine wine or a decent bottle of whisky – is not nearly as easy as growing cannabis or magic mushrooms in your garden.
It can be argued, however, that the recent US experience with cannabis legalisation has shown that it can be successfully commercialised, but let’s not forget that commercialisation of the plant was one of the major arguments used for legalising cannabis in many US states.
Drug policies can also be used as a tool for “social cleansing”. Governments will ban drugs that are associated with poorer people, such as cannabis. This will fulfil a common goal by the elites of selectively isolating lower classes. For example, governments can sometimes find homeless people to be a nuisance, and banning drugs such as cannabis would provide a legal excuse to get rid of them.
During alcohol prohibition in the US in the 1920s, the government made an exception for whisky, a more expensive alcoholic drink, which you could buy with a doctor’s prescription. This ensured that those who were poor could be locked up for drinking alcohol, while the elites could legally obtain the drug if they wanted to.
See other 2 reasons and full original article here