Researchers Say the Drug War Amounts to Censorship of Science


Toke up for science!

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.

Via Reuters:

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.

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  1. In other news, feds raided more than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area yesterday.

    Is that the same Los Angeles area that recently went back to legalization (or maybe it was decriminalization) of medical marijuana?

    1. A progressive Democrat friend was telling me over the weekend that the Feds are only enforcing local laws. No fair blaming Obama on this stuff, he says, and besides legalization is a dumb idea anyway, we should just tax it instead.

      Tell me again how Democrats are on the right side of this issue.

      1. The feds don't enforce local or state laws. Tell your friend to go recheck his talking points.

      2. legalization is a dumb idea anyway, we should just tax it instead.

        That doesn't even make any sense. It's pretty hard to tax something that's not legal to sell. And I'm pretty sure it's unconstitutional too, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....ed_States.

        1. It is hard to tax something that's illegal, but they try anyway.

          FYI Many US states (Kansas for instance) put a tax on illegal drugs, and then when they catch the drug dealers they also get them on tax fraud charges.

          The reason that the Marihuana Tax Act failed was because it required you to actually bring in marijuana to get a license to grow marijuana, therefore you had to incriminate yourself to comply with the law which is unconstitutional (the 5th ammendment protects people from being forced to incriminate themselves).

  2. And how conveniently nice of them to discover principles when they're personally impacted. Sure, allies are always welcome, but they are only allies for this one issue.

    1. Baby steps.

    2. I honestly don't think they can be lead to anything resembling libertarianism. They may work with us on this one issue, but that's it.

      When I was hanging out a Pharyngula, which is very heavy with bioscience teachers and researchers, the prevailing consensus was that the drug war was bad "on principle", but wasn't a priority for them while there were more pressing issues such as (preserving) "welfare." So, no actual principles as we would understand them.

      But at least they won't be fighting us on all fronts, for a brief time.

      1. I made the horrible mistake of spending some time on Pharyngula. Holy shit, what a bunch of retarded socialist evangelical athiest assholes.

        So, let me get this straight; The feds, under the administration of Barack Obama, who has declared the drug war over, have raided over 100 MJ dispensaries in the Los Angeles area, which is a liberal stronghold.

        Now there will be a huge outcry from west coast liberals against this insane tyranny and the hypocrite who is leading it, RIGHT?

        They asked "Please, can I have some more?" so, yeah, they deserve this fucking good and hard.

        1. Yeah, it's definitely a fever swamp. They're good on calling out the socon's, and good on the First Amendment, but pretty much straight outta Eugene V. Debs.

        2. But don't you understand? Obama is only doing this to mollify the Right Wing Republican Crazies. It's not his fault!

        3. Nobody deserves that. Not just for their political opinions anyway.

  3. Galileoing the scientific version of Godwinning. The moment anyone claims their side is like Galileo, I stop reading and assume the informational content has reaced zero. (Was it Nikki or Kristen who was asking for the 9/11ing corollary as well?)

    1. Nikki or Kristen

      There's only two men on this board pretending to be women (Now that Suki is gone) and you can't keep them straight?

      1. Damn it some guy, you'll start a litany of the lady commentariat.

        1. Banjos, IFH, jesse, Nikki, Kristen, Dagny...shit we are almost at a statistically valid sample.

          1. Banjos, IFH, jesse, Nikki, Kristen, Dagny

            Wait, what now?

            1. my brain and my typing rarely get together in the same place and time.

              Also, I am not convinced that Warty isn't a female but from some strange alien race that arose on Gliesa 587...i base this on this kitten love.

              1. I didn't even consider that Warty might have a sex. Warty is a force of nature, like a rapequake or rapenado.

                1. I have such terrible images in my head now...

      2. I don't think keeping them straight is a problem. They seem to like men as much as Jesse and I do. TFIBHAW

    2. Do you need a juicebox, Brett?

    3. I'm not sure if it was Kristen (I think it was), but it wasn't me.

      1. It wasn't Banjos, IFH, or waffles fem alter ego. Dagny is almost never on anymore.

        1. BuSab, or lap83?

  4. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Party of Stupid lives up to it's name.

    Rep. Trent Franks said Wednesday that the rate of pregnancies resulting from rape is "very low."

    While this is probably true it is insanely stupid to say that and to write a bill that bans all abortions without an exception for rape cases.

    I posted this because the drug war always makes me think of the party of stupid.

  5. While I think marijuana should be 100% legalized (not merely decriminalized and taxed), I am getting tired of all these people who think pot/hemp is the wonder plant that can do anything.

    "Hemp fiber can be used to create carbon nanotubes!"
    "Marijuana cures autism in children!"

    1. There is always a tendency to oversell one's own position. That rhetoric you mention comes mainly from the hippie end of the anti-wod coalition. You don't pick your allies so much as find them.

    2. Not marijuana, but I actually know three different people with autism who claim to have been helped tremendously by LSD. I guess just because it tends to dissolve the ego.

    3. It is a pretty useful plant, though. Better for making paper than wood. Good source of oil for food and industrial uses. And requires less intensive fertilizer and pesticide use than a lot of seed crops.
      And most importantly of all, some varieties get you nicely toasted.

    4. I was talking to a patient that said she started using MJ for her pain because the prescription drugs had her so sedated she forgot her daughters wedding. She had to stop using because her husband was buying and she got scared that he would get arrested and lose his job. She claimed the pain control was better.

      I know, this is an anecdote and not science, but it should be her choice how she manages her health.

      1. That's alright science really has no role in the drug prohibition debate.

  6. FWIW, from link: "(EDITOR'S NOTE: In the original version of this story, Courthouse News reported that federal agents "raided" 103 marijuana stores. A drug task force spokesman said Thursday that no stores were raided; they were just warned. ..."

    A slightly lower level of barbarism.

  7. I wondered how long it would take the intelligentsia to wake up and realize something was seriously wrong.

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