cannabisnews.com: Study: Alcohol More Lethal Than Heroin, Cocaine
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Study: Alcohol More Lethal Than Heroin, Cocaine
Posted by CN Staff on November 01, 2010 at 08:24:30 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
London -- Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study. British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison.
Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower.The study was paid for by Britain's Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and was published online Monday in the medical journal, Lancet.Experts said alcohol scored so high because it is so widely used and has devastating consequences not only for drinkers but for those around them."Just think about what happens (with alcohol) at every football game," said Wim van den Brink, a professor of psychiatry and addiction at the University of Amsterdam. He was not linked to the study and co-authored a commentary in the Lancet.When drunk in excess, alcohol damages nearly all organ systems. It is also connected to higher death rates and is involved in a greater percentage of crime than most other drugs, including heroin.But experts said it would be impractical and incorrect to outlaw alcohol."We cannot return to the days of prohibition," said Leslie King, an adviser to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and one of the study's authors. "Alcohol is too embedded in our culture and it won't go away."King said countries should target problem drinkers, not the vast majority of people who indulge in a drink or two. He said governments should consider more education programs and raising the price of alcohol so it isn't as widely available.Experts said the study should prompt countries to reconsider how they classify drugs. For example, last year in Britain, the government increased its penalties for the possession of marijuana. One of its senior advisers, David Nutt  the lead author on the Lancet study  was fired after he criticized the British decision."What governments decide is illegal is not always based on science," said van den Brink. He said considerations about revenue and taxation, like those garnered from the alcohol and tobacco industries, may influence decisions about which substances to regulate or outlaw."Drugs that are legal cause at least as much damage, if not more, than drugs that are illicit," he said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published: November 1, 2010 Copyright: 2010 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis  Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #6 posted by schmeff on November 01, 2010 at 11:30:03 PT
Flawed Study
"Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison."If one removes "other criteria", such as the negative effects of the prohibition of cannabis, cannabis wouldn't even make the list of harmful "drugs". If one were enlightened, and was familiar with the contents of StormCrow's extensive bibliography, then one couldn't help but reach the conclusion that cannabis is beneficial, not harmful.
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Comment #5 posted by museman on November 01, 2010 at 09:16:26 PT
Hemp World
Really? Ok, I stand corrected. And I actually can believe it. Don't know why I forgot tobacco -maybe it's because I kicked it years ago, and have recovered from its effects.And you have to admit, that the damage from alcohol is much more visible and evident?Yes, tobacco is part of the 'planned obsolescence' of the american people, endorsed by our benevolent "Big Brother."LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on November 01, 2010 at 08:59:51 PT
Musemon
I admire you but when you say "It kills more than any other substance known to man" this is not correct, cigarettes are the biggest killer!(and the ingredients in cigarettes are secret, go figure)
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 01, 2010 at 08:57:06 PT
Alcohol
I don't hate many things but I hate alcohol. My mom was an alcoholic and drank the whole time while carrying me. I had a terrible time in school learning. I have seen alcohol destroy some of our friends. Never have I seen a person who only uses Cannabis with any trouble at all. I don't want alcohol to be made illegal again. I just want Cannabis to be legal again.
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Comment #2 posted by museman on November 01, 2010 at 08:52:18 PT
people are schooled, but not educated
"What governments decide is illegal is not always based on science," -no, 'law' is based on the needs, desires, and whims of the rich elite, ruling faction (corporate these days) and has never had anything to do with logic, reason, justice, order, peace, prosperity, public welfare, or liberty. Law is the way the rulers get over on us.Yes, we the people have managed over the centuries to come up with some notable compromises, like the Magna Carta, and the US Constitution, but every time we clean the house, the same demons come back, with friends.Alcohol makes you stupid. It kills more than any other substance known to man (except governments). Comparing cannabis to alcohol, is like comparing Heroin with Aspirin -they aren't any where near the same class of substances. "Drugs that are legal cause at least as much damage, if not more, than drugs that are illicit," -true, but there again are those words of ignorant choice.Drugs? In every town there is at least one 'drug store.' In them you can find toxins, poisons, 'scientifically synthesized' chemicals with side effects up the yin yang, and even the drug of the children's choice; SUGAR.The damage is caused by people, not drugs. Yes sometimes people are on drugs when the damage is done, (and mostly on alcohol -because it makes you so stupid) but everything is caused by choices made by people. The obvious solution, (being attempted in the WOD, the NSA, and the Patriot Act) is to outlaw choice all together!That solution is the root of all the rhetoric from the gov.Get rid of them.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on November 01, 2010 at 08:36:31 PT
Oh No ...
We can't prohibit alcohol! God forbid! But we sure can prohibit cannabis, eventhough God specifically says it's good in Genesis 1:29Go figure ...
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