You Can't Trust the Drug 'Experts'

You Can't Trust the Drug 'Experts'
Posted by CN Staff on April 17, 2004 at 18:56:55 PT
By Dan Gardner
Source: Edmonton Journal 
"One night's ecstasy use can cause brain damage," shouted a newspaper headline in September 2002, after the journal Science published a study that found a single dose of the drug ecstasy injected into monkeys and baboons caused terrible brain damage. Two of the 10 primates in the study had even died. The media trumpeted the news around the world and drug enforcement officials held it up as definitive proof of the vileness of ecstasy. But a year later, an odd thing happened. The author of the study, George Ricaurte, admitted his team had mistakenly injected the baboons and monkeys with massive doses of methamphetamine, not ecstasy, and Science formally retracted the article.
The retraction was scarcely reported and drug enforcement officials said nothing about it. Obscure as this incident may sound, it actually demonstrates something vitally important about research on illicit drugs, something few laymen understand but is well known among researchers and academics. It's a deeply politicized field, says Peter Cohen, a professor at the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam. "There is no neutral science."For critics such as Cohen, George Ricaurte illustrates the problems in illicit drug research. Long before the Science study made him notorious, Dr. Ricaurte was accused by some academics of producing biased science designed to make drugs look as dangerous as possible. The motive was funding. Scientific research and scientific careers are built on funding and drug research is particularly expensive -- the flawed Science study cost $1.3 million U.S. alone."Researchers need to get their money from somewhere," says Cohen, but funding options are extremely limited. Pharmaceutical companies aren't interested. And most governments aren't prepared to pay a great deal of money for research on drugs they have already banned. The one exception is the United States, which lavishes money on drug research. As a result, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse boasts that it "supports over 85 per cent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction."Note: Dan Gardner is a senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen  Snipped: Complete Article: Edmonton Journal (CN AB) Author: Dan GardnerPublished: April 15, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Edmonton Journal Contact: letters thejournal.canwest.comWebsite: http://www.edmontonjournal.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Ecstasy Agonistes - The Chronicle Ecstasy Factor - The Village Voice Approves Trial Of Ecstasy in Trauma Cases On Ecstasy Is Clouded By Errors Will Kill You -- Wait, No It Won't 
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on April 24, 2004 at 11:26:10 PT
As Predicted Here at CNews
NIDA is now applying their discredited junk science to food, following the pattern of their dishonest pseudo-scientific studies of "drug" addiction. Now food "addiction" is on their radar:Chocolate cake addiction: it's real
ABC Science Online, Australia - 20 Apr 2004
People who say they are addicted to chocolate or pizza may not be exaggerating, according to US-based scientists. A team led by ... does contain theobromine, a chemical cousin of caffeine and a stimulant. However, the World Book Encyclopedia defines "drug addiction" as a state associated with severe and painful withdrawal symptoms. "Addicted" to pizza? Get real!
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Comment #13 posted by Virgil on April 19, 2004 at 08:58:22 PT
Prohibition has nothing to do with health
If the treasonous government that rules us were concerned about everyone's health, we would treat substance abuse as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. We would also concentrate on the Deadly Duo of T&A.When the drug sniffing dogs went into Goose Creek they would have looked for cigarettes. The first thing we would do is prevent children from adopting the most addictive habit to break. They take children away from parents using cannabis, but they cannot even make parents stay away from their children with a smoke that may well give them an "hnonest" addiction.It is about like Kap says. Death is desirable if it comes after a slaving life and before the first Social Security check.The prohibitionist only have a few talking points and someone should compose something like George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words. The one that applies here is that we already have T&A and a third one will make things worse. It is bullshit because when the issue is freedom, the fact that people kill themselves with T&A is irrelevant. Besides that cannabis should be legal if it only offered a calorie free solution to the evils of alcohol that brought us a failed prohibition that somehow innoculated the country to stomach decades of more failure with prohibition. But besides that, they are not even trying to reduce the harms of T&A seriously or tobacco settlement money would bring us messages from our politicians that resemble Yul Brynner's commercia where he says "Whatever you do, just don't smoke." Alcohol companies would have to really warn people about the dangers of alcohol instead of buying off Congress to keep the superior alternative that would help the country with the harms of alcohol prohibited.
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Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on April 19, 2004 at 04:33:27 PT:
Healthier employees = MORE corporate costs
You'd think the *opposite* is true...and the entire drug testing schema is predicated upon such ostensible 'rationaility'.But...think about this: The longer you live, the more in pension costs have to allocated. Which, of course, cuts into profits.A workforce that largely kills itself off before it reaches the age of retirement is actually an economic plus...if you're a soul-less, miserly, beancounting plutocrat.I realize many will complain that this is an *reductio ad absurdum*, but here's your answer as to why the twin, TRUE 'assassins of youth' nicotine and alcohol, are so prevalent and easily accessible. Both substances place stresses upon the body in addition to everyday living; cannabis is, as ol' Willie Nelson has publicly observed, the best stress-relieving medicine on the planet. Go figure...
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Comment #11 posted by BGreen on April 18, 2004 at 21:54:05 PT
Cannabis Enthusiast
I saw an old friend tonight and he stopped smoking cannabis because he works at Kraft foods and they drug test their employees.He drinks like a fish because booze doesn't show up in drug tests. He's put on at least 20 lbs. since I saw him less than a year ago and his face looks bloated.He loses his temper easily and drives after he drinks.I really doubt if he's a better employee for Kraft foods now than for the first 15 years I knew him when he partook of cannabis.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #10 posted by Cannabis Enthusiast on April 18, 2004 at 21:31:38 PT
Alcohol: the root of my severe clinical depression
Virgil, one must wonder why this nation is literally flooded with alcohol and tobacco. EVERY gas station, EVERY supermarket, EVERYWHERE there are aisles upon aisles stocked to the brim with various forms of ethanol.How in the hell can this be, when I take one shot if liquor and I suffer depression for 24+ hours afterwards (even at 225 mg Effexor XR per day).Yet, when I inhale cannabis smoke I suffer absolutely no bad effects whatsoever. And the CBD (cannabidiol?) makes the few days that follow _absolute bliss_.Why the hell do they sell alcohol everywhere? Who the hell is buying alcohol? Alcohol is crap. The only reason (once every so often, like once every 2 weeks) I ever even have a beer is because its legal and bars sell it. I wish there were cannabis bars like the coffeeshops in Holland where people could come and enjoy the finest Bubble Hash or Northern Lights.America just sucks, and alcohol makes me sick and depressed.
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Comment #9 posted by breeze on April 18, 2004 at 21:24:45 PT
The thing about studies like this one is that it proves how far some idiots go to get money, even if it means lying about their failures.If a scientist has a successful study that supports any thing that someone in power presumes, they get a grant to continue their studies. If they come up with something that goes against the grain of the political beaurecrat, they lose the grant money- and it goes to the liar, the mistake artist, the imbecille.If a scientist makes a fatal error such as this one, no matter what the circumstances- that scientist or GROUP of scientists should have their information made VERY public, then fired, and then fined. Hey- its a felony to lie to a federal prosecutor, shouldn't the same apply when lying to the general public?If this were true- wouldn't a lot of political affucindo's be behind bars?Where is the justice?
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Comment #8 posted by E_Johnson on April 18, 2004 at 11:35:52 PT
I wonder at the final impact though
This story is going to have a lot of impact although perhaps not on people who make policy. I think the people who make policy go by their interest groups not by their knowledge base.The drug police and drug prosecutor and drug testing interest groups still have the same number of hungry mouths to feed as they had before this scandal erupted and this article won't make them back off at all.The drug hater groups won't lose their core members because they're just hateful fanatics to beging with.The PDFA won't care, because the only science they care about is the science of social propaganda and market influence.But maybe this will impact the media in a big way, because this was embarassing for them, too. They made their dime selling papers with a big scary headline and the big scary headline turns out to have been a lie.That's something you remember as a journalist, when your big scary headline turned out to be a lie.
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Comment #7 posted by ron on April 18, 2004 at 08:55:20 PT
Right on Kaptinemo!
Drug research in America is conducted by biostitutes and guided by the principles (sic) of Lysenko. Nahas, Heath, Ricaurte and Leshner et al are a disgrace to scientific integrity.
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on April 18, 2004 at 04:50:10 PT:
Mr. Diogenes, please call Mr. Gardner
The ancient Greek sage Diogenes the Cynic was supposed to have walked through Athens with a lighted lamp in daytime, claiming he was searching for an 'honest man'. Needless to say, he never found one. Well, Mr. Gardner has in the past demonstrated the lack of necessity for Diogene's search...about 3 millennia late. For Mr. Gardner has proven once again that *are* some honest media folk, plying their trade with distinction and integrity.But I am still not seeing THE word; the ugly word, the filthy word, the damning word that marks all of the DrugWarrior whores-in-lab-coats for what they are in twisting facts and perverting science to serve political masters and receive The State's pottage for their selling their credibility like a "Twenny Dollah Ho' ": LYSENKOISTS. 
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Comment #5 posted by Virgil on April 17, 2004 at 23:54:12 PT
My Fellow Extremist
Greetings my Fellow Extremist and may freedom be restored to America and the criminals in government brought to justice and sentenced.The drug war is a farce.The drug war is treason.The drug war is ruinous.The drug war has delivered us to a point where the public good is ignored by the treason that rules us.Reason will one day rule and a new definition of freedom is coming to the world. That freedom will be from US bullying and covert operations and military conflict. The countries of the world would sue the United States one thing for sure is that we owe Colombia at least Colombia. We are imposing civil war in all countries with drugs and a bastardly preaching from the UN as the American government rapes them like they do the average man in America.Sure American had a high standard of living. We used to work more than any worker in the world until the South Koreans went for the lead. Now China works people that could not get 8 hours of sleep a day because it would mean they would be sleeping during their 16 hour shifts. They die on the factory floor and are accepted casualties like the thousands that died when America sought electrification from its rivers and dams were more important than breaking the primary management philosphy of saying "Mush". China can make lightbulbs and probably will lead the world of diode lighting as the world masters light and brings amazing reductions in electricity. Of course China can make anything we can. They have more people in science and math than we have in college. But the relevant point is that we are seriously bankrupt. Bankrupt in many ways of course. If we were a plane going down like in a John Wayne movie and the Duke says they must begin to jetison the ammunition. But America going down must first jetison the drug wars. The drug wars must end and those that facade the truth with a lie they call spin should be asked their definition in treason to the common good.There is a relevant point to be made in the area of lies/spin coming in the election concerning the Fantsyland government tell us how wonderful it is. They will say we will give you tax cuts. It is upside down terminology. Spending is taxes. There are collected taxes and uncollected taxes. Generally people call the uncollectexd taxes the national debt. So please understand that spending has accelerated to $21,000 per year per household. As spending has soared with the military industrial and pharmaceutical and oil complex everyone owes $7 a day for the third year of Bu$h's raping of the country and its wo/men. I wonder when the Busch pillaging ends if $8 trillion will call for collection. Your monthly bill for interest of $60 might seem reasonable, but you borrowed $7 today which means you are going backwards.Spending is taxes. Collections are just collections. And debt is debt. I demand they cut our taxes. I demand they reduce spending/taxes. Military spending has got to be reduced in opposition to the PNAC neocons and even Kerry and his world dominatin club. They have got to increase collections from the rich because the common mand has been creditcarded into a lower standard of living. Pass the debt on to the children. Lower collections again and let uncollected taxes add the interest parented by staggering debt. It is past time to jetison the drug wars. The treason that rules us says the plane is going to crash so we might as well take will take the paracutes and the valuables and good luck with that crash. Let everyone fight for a tax free existance as I have no children to be concerned about. I really do wish people would learn they are being lied to completely and understand that selling tax cuts has nothing to with the tax upon us that comes with spending.It is time to jetison the drug war farce. It is time to jetison the treason that now seeks to preserve it. And yes, WE ARE RULED BY TREASON
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Comment #4 posted by Virgil on April 17, 2004 at 20:07:17 PT
Ecstasy for euphoria
We are lead to belive that there can be a utopia if everyone would just think and act like the Man/Borg says and be assimilated. Well, that will never happen and there will never be any utopia, but there will always be a desire for euphoria that must be the desire of having a utopia in the first place.Serotonin is a major substance in the brain that is necessary for the feeling of well-being. Alcohol depletes the brain of serotonin and alcohol-induced depression from a lack of seratonin is really a major health issue that gets almost no attention on a media that is all sell, sell, sell. But ecstasy causes a release of this feel-good substance that must really deliver a type of euphoria. There probably are some real issues concerning overuse as the brain is going to need to retain some serotonin. The main thing is to get real information out that is universally accepted as credible.We have a government that has been overthrown for plutocratic benefit that has no credibility at all as they really on lies, deception, and distraction to carry on with their treason. It is the call to get real that will do these drug warriors in. When the truth gets out about X many people will want to try it including me. I want to experience it myself as I believe their is a benefit to the experience.The drug warriors have some big problems in preserving their fantasy world. We live in a world where microbiology is heralded as the new frontier now that computerworld has been fully settled. We will see new drugs and hear of existing natural substances that people will want to explore. X will have the benefit to the cannabis community of being popular and exposing more lies of the drug warriors to more people and of course repetition means the same old lies will be heard more times.The call to get real will destroy these lying, treasonous drug warriors. X is going to be very popular forever because a pill or two is not going to hurt anybody and may actually help with emotional concerns. Then there is meth and the tweekers. Preaching fantasy and trying to arrest for success is as stupid as the federal government borrowing us to prosperity.
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Comment #3 posted by Virgil on April 17, 2004 at 19:33:10 PT
Lying about the lies
George Ricaurte, admitted his team had mistakenly injected the baboons and monkeys with massive doses of methamphetamine, not ecstasy, and Science formally retracted the article. Obviously the study was made to find some demonixation material and would be flawed in any direction to produce anything negative that could be repeated and mountainixed until people thought there really was a huge problem. Here we see the massive dose strategy famous in one toxicity trial with cannabis and mice or rats. But to claim an error in substances is just another lie and if in fact someone could blunder so badly they would be fired in American workforce where parking over the line or being late three times. but in the Nazi world loyalty to projections of fantacy is the only requirement for the government gravy train. How could some big salaried person that lifts nothing heavier than a laptop studying estcasy not even use estcasy? I have a thought concerning the intersection of prisons and the Internet. Now why do we not have people bored out of their skull in prison posting on the Internet here and other places. Why do people in prison not have access for the Internet? Why is the Internet not available to people that need education and personal development as they await the day they return to society.It is not to rehabilitate them- that is for sure. The authorities in the corrupt criminal justice system might preach a toughness stand, but their has to be some real concern about letting people with real life experience using all that free time to tell the rest of the world what they know.It is nice to know Dan Gardner is alive and well. I would think him the most decorated (by articles read) than in any soldier in the effort for reform. Dan is still the man.
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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on April 17, 2004 at 19:22:39 PT
Something even more disgusting
Alan Leshner, the mastermind behind the drug war perversion of drug abuse science, being hired as the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.I resigned from the AAAS and canceled my subscription to Science back when that happened.Now he's finally beginning to get his just desserts.Maybe the field will be cleaned up after this, who knows.They need to get that man out of science. He's the worst example of what happens when a social or political agenda controls science funding.
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Comment #1 posted by cloud7 on April 17, 2004 at 19:17:44 PT
"The one exception is the United States, which lavishes money on drug research. As a result, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse boasts that it "supports over 85 per cent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction.""This is such a disgusting statistic I have nothing to say about it.
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