As scientists have managed to engage in research involving the chemical components of cannabis, they are discovering more and more potential valuable medical uses for marijuana. Some are now coming forward to call for a more rational drug policy worldwide that doesn't hamper or censor research.
Laws and international conventions dating back to the 1960s have set back research in key areas such as consciousness by decades, they argued in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.
"The decision to outlaw these drugs was based on their perceived dangers, but in many cases the harms have been overstated," said David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London.
In a statement accompanying the Nature Reviews paper, he said the laws amounted "to the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo".
"The laws have never been updated despite scientific advances and growing evidence that many of these drugs are relatively safe. And there appears to be no way for the international community to make such changes," he said.
In other news, feds raided more than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area yesterday.
Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.
Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at email@example.com, or tweet us stories at @reason247.