'The designation of drugs in classes A, B and C should be replaced with one more closely reflecting the harm they cause, a committee of MPs has said.'
Interesting that they have added alcohol and tobacco into the mix. Alcohol rates at 5 for 'mean harm' just below street methadone whilst tobacco is at 9 which is more harmful than cannabis.
In NZ the Social Tonics Association peddles the benefits of taking BZP which is the active ingredient in so called 'Herbal Highs'. The STA tries to convince users that it is safer to ingest a cattle wormer rather than running the risk of ingesting evil Ecstasy (MDMA) which is manufactured in 'back yard' labs from 'unknown' ingredients. The good old 'better the devil you know than the devil you do not know' mantra.
In the UK BZP does not appear to be listed which probably means that no right minded Brit is going to swallow cattle wormer. But it is interesting that in the Beeb article evil Ecstasy is listed as the third least harmful substance, way below Cannabis, Alcohol and Tobacco.
We too use a similar classification system but we also have a C1 category for 'Herbal Highs' which means it is a controlled substance in that it is allowed to be sold but its sale is controlled. If we keep going down the alphabetical classification path I can imagine that NZ will be up to 'Classification K' by the time my son is old enough to start experimenting with mind bending substances.
I too believe that it is time for NZ to get real and start to also classify Alcohol and Tobacco based on mean harm. I am sure we all know that Alcohol and Tobacco kill more people than Cannabis but we continue to rate Cannabis (a drug tried by over 50% of the population) as more evil, harmful and illegal than the state sponsored intoxicants.
My point is that we have a government that seems to enjoy telling people what they can and can't do with their own bodies and at the same time thinks it is totally acceptable to peddle a cattle wormer (which is banned in a number of countries) to our kids. Seriously having a warning on a 'Herbal High' bottle that you should not take any more than one pill and that you shouldn't drink Alcohol at the same time is like telling an 18 year old that they shouldn't drive fast in their little Japanese rocket ship. It just doesn't work.
The Social Tonics Association is a self serving organisation made up of 'party pill' millionaire manufacturers who have got rich on the back of mis-information and the sale of BZP to minors. At the same time they keep saying that BZP is safe without any scientific or social proof to support their claims.
Some tidbits from the STA:
- Legal 'Party Pills' are not a router to harder drugs
- Legal 'Party Pills' tend to reduce rather than promote other drug and alcohol use
- Banning legal 'Party Pills' will lead to higher alcohol and illegal drug use
- The adverse effects from legal 'Party Pills' are far less severe than for alcohol
- Legal 'Party Pills' are non-addictive and much easier to control
Now none of these statements are scientific fact they are actually loaded questions asked in a survey of 200 18-29 year olds.
To me the only difference between the STA and a back yard P cook is that the STA have legal impunity to continue to peddle a substance with unknown consequences while using fear and misunderstanding to continue to undermine and counter any attempts by the government to further regulate the supply of BZP.
Other related posts:
I Thought I would Come Back
Unemployment does get boring
Over the 'i'
Comment by juha, on 21-Mar-2007 17:19
Reading about it, I don't think BZP worked as a cattle wormer. Interesting though - learn something new every day. :)
Comment by barf, on 22-Mar-2007 12:37
BZP is rubbish. How can something synthetic be called herbal anyway
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