Synthetic Drugs

Prohibitionists Say the Drugs They Banned Are Safer Than the Ones They Didn't



In a report issued today, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) sounds the alarm about synthetic, quasi-legal drugs such as "spice," "bath salts," and "meow-meow," saying "the international drug control system is floundering" due to "the speed and creativity" of underground chemists:

The number of NPS [new psychoactive substances] reported by Member States to UNODC rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012, an increase of more than 50 per cent. For the first time, the number of NPS actually exceeded the total number of substances under international control (234).

Control is something of a misnomer in this context, since illegal drugs are anything but controlled. Yet the same is true of uncontrolled substances when they are ostensibly not intended for human consumption, the dodge that sellers of psychoactive "incense" and "bath salts" use to stay within the law. "This is an alarming drug problem," says the UNODC, "but the drugs are legal." Reuters explains that "new psychoactive substances can be made by slightly modifying the molecular structure of controlled drugs, making a new drug with similar effects which can elude national and international bans." The UNODC worries that "the adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood." It says the new drugs "can have deadly consequences for their users but are hard to control, with dynamic, fast mutating producers and 'product lines.'" It warns that they "have not been tested for safety" and "can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs." Those safer, "traditional" drugs would be the ones that governments have arbitrarily chosen to ban, thereby driving consumers to more hazardous substitutes. The UNODC likewise notes "concerns about the violence generated by illicit drug trafficking" without mentioning prohibition's role in making otherwise pacific markets violent. Talk about floundering.

[Thanks to Max Minkoff for the tip.]

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  1. The only way to be safe is to outlaw all forms of mind alteration. For the children.

    1. So no more TEAM talking points. Maybe not a bad idea…for teh childrenz.

  2. Violence and dangerous new drugs? Who would have thought?

  3. Prohibitionists Say the Drugs They Banned Are Safer Than the Ones They Didn’t Are About To Ban

    Have no fear, good people. The law will rescue you from our national spice and meow-meow nightmare soon.

  4. Fuck you sideways, prohibitionists. There is nothing more to say.

    1. There are other ways to fuck the prohibitionists, too.

  5. If you abuse drugs, you’ll produce shitty alt-text.

  6. Simple solution: ban everything except water and a flavorless goop made from a single celled protein combined with synthetic aminos, vitamins, and minerals, everything the body needs. Problem solved.

    1. No, we all need I-Jammers.

      Oopy doopy! It’s real food!

    2. As long as the water and flavorless goop is properly labeled and regulated by the proper bureaucracy, and sold by their favorite crony, then it’s all good.

    3. No shit – just back from a mind altering Thai meal.

  7. “the international drug control system is floundering” due to “the speed and creativity” of underground chemists:

    Awwwww, the drug warriors have a sad.

    meow-meow? LOL!

  8. there’s some sort of “fake weed turns you into a zombie” ad campaign on DC metro buses.

  9. It really is astounding and telling that these types continue to believe that if they could just pass one more* law, all of the evils would be wiped out.

    It’s not like, ohh, I dunno, people want to get high and will do just about anything to achieve that goal. Nope, there’s just not enough rules telling them what they can and can’t do, so obviously they just haven’t realized that what they are doing is wrong.

    1. Human history means nothing to the zealot determined to recreate humanity in some idealized state.

      Truly, there are no more dangerous humans alive than that.

  10. Like deathgrip? They’re just looking for a few stories like these. Like the cops response though. Meh, buyer needs to use common sense.…..-substance

  11. In any case drugs are harmful, but when it is converted in medicine then it can secure many lives, so basically let Government decides ban is necessary or not. saucony online

    1. Were you undergoing a lobotomy when you typed that?

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