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  1. chillinwill
    Taking ecstasy is no more dangerous than riding a horse, according to the head of the Government's drug advisory body.

    Writing in an academic journal, Professor David Nutt said taking ecstasy was no worse than the risks of "equasy", a term he invented to describe people's addiction to horse-riding.

    Prof Nutt is the chairman of the Home Office's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs which next week is likely to say that ecstasy should be downgraded to a Class B drug.

    Campaigners last night called for him to resign, suggesting that he was on a "personal crusade" to decriminalise the drug.

    Prof Nutt, who is an academic at Bristol University and Imperial College, London, wrote the article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology last month.

    He said he wanted to compare the risks of horse-riding with the drug to open a debate about drug abuse and risk taking.

    Prof Nutt told The Daily Telegraph: "The point was to get people to understand that drug harm can be equal to harms in other parts of life.

    "There is not much difference between horse riding and ecstasy."

    In the article, titled "Equasy: An overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms", Prof Nutt wrote that "equasy", short for "Equine Addiction Syndrome", had caused 10 deaths and more than 100 road traffic accidents a year.

    Through hunting, it also led to "gatherings of users that often are associated with these groups engaging in violent conduct.

    "Dependence, as defined by the need to continue to use, has been accepted by the courts in divorce settlements," he wrote. "Based on these harms, it seems likely that the ACMD would recommend control under the MDAct perhaps as a class A drug given it appears more harmful than ecstasy."

    He wrote that the risks of horse riding showed that society "does not adequately balance the relative risks of drugs against their harms".

    He said: "Making riding illegal would completely prevent all these harms and would be, in practice, very easy to do.

    "This attitude raises the critical question of why society tolerates – indeed encourages – certain forms of potentially harmful behaviour but not others, such as drug use."

    There were plenty of other "risky activities such as base jumping, climbing, bungee jumping, hang-gliding, motorcycling" which were worse than which "many illicit drugs".

    Campaigners said Prof Nutt's comments were ill-judged, coming ahead of the council on whether to downgrade the drug from A to B.

    David Raynes, an executive councillor at the National Drug Prevention Alliance said: "Professor Nutt has made numerous unwise comments prejudging the ACMD review of Ecstasy. Is he on a personal crusade against the laws enacted by Parliament?

    "He is entitled to his opinion, but if his personal view conflicts so very strongly with his public duties, it would be honourable to consider his position.

    "If he does not, the Home Secretary should certainly do it for him."

    The advisory council insisted that Prof Nutt was writing in the journal "in respect of his academic work and not as chair of the ACMD".

    A spokesman said: "Prof Nutt's academic research does not prejudice the work that he conducts as chair of the ACMD."

    There are 500,000 regular users and between 30 million and 60 million ecstasy pills in circulation in the UK.

    If the advisory council recommends downgrading ecstasy next week, the Government can over-rule it - as happened with cannabis this year.

    The council heard last year that deaths among ecstasy users had trebled from 10 to 30 a year over the past 15 years. The cost of pills had slumped from £15.50 to £2.30.

    By Christopher Hope, Whitehall Editor
    Last Updated: 8:02AM GMT 07 Feb 2009
    Telegraph.co.uk
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...tasy-no-more-dangerous-than-horse-riding.html

Comments

  1. RoboCodeine7610
    But what benefit would this downgrade give users?I mean it would still be illegal to posses...
  2. Potter
    Dude, I tried horse riding once. It was an incredible experience.

    Sure, I'd heard about it, but had never done it myself and didn't really know what to expect. This redhead girl I knew who rode all the time took me to a riding party, it was like, deep in a park or something, kinda awesome. She hooked me up with some good horse, like it was clydesdale or some shit, supposed to be big. It didn't take long and we were "on the trail", which is what they say when the shit kicks in and the movement starts. Colors, sound, smell all were more heightened, yet stirred into an intoxicating blur. I moved to the rhythm of the horse and felt, for the first time in my life, totally in sync with other people. We were all riding, or "cantering" as it's called in horse circles. Some folks took it real far and went full rollin' gallop, I could see how you'd end up in a strange place if you did that for too long. Oh, and you have to drink a lot of water when you ride horse--you'll be fine, just totally fine with everything and everybody for a while and then, at the end of the ride, you'll start to notice you're a little hot and dry as things slow down.

    Then next morning I hurt in muscles I didn't know I had--they don't tell you about that! "Saddle sore" I guess it's called. Heh, though whether it was all from the horse or maybe a little from the redhead, I'll never know.
  3. Jasim
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If he were here in the US, he would be without a job rather quickly (it happens a lot unfortunately).
  4. cannabis-sam
    It's not going to make a blind bit of difference to anyone, all it will mean is that the sentence goes from 14 years maximum for possession (I think) to five (I know for sure). For dealing the penalties remain at 14 years.

    It will not change how courts handle it. whats the fucking point I wonder?
  5. Horiz
    It brings attention to the public about the so-called dangers of MDMA. Being reclassified to B is one step closer to class C, and finally decriminalization.
  6. ConcertaXL
    actually class A-B switch means possession max penalty: 5 years (was 7) and supply is indeed 14 years but is currently life.
    these penalties are pretty useless when in reality no-one gets years in prison for just possessing a drug, and life for supply is a possibility for about 5 multi-millionaire "kingpin" export-importers out of thousands of dealers and people who pass the bong or pill bottle around their mates.
  7. adzket
    Ecstasy 'no worse than horse riding'

    Ecstasy 'no worse than horse riding'
    Taking ecstasy is no more dangerous than riding a horse, a top Government drug adviser has said.

    Professor David Nutt, chairman of the Home Office's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said in a medical journal that taking the drug was no more harmful than an addiction to riding.

    The council is expected next week to recommend that ecstasy is downgraded from class A to the less dangerous class B classification. Ministers have outlined their opposition to such a move.

    Prof Nutt's article in Journal of Psychopharmacology is entitled "Equasy - An overlooked addiction with implications for the current debate on drug harms".

    He writes: "The point was to get people to understand that drug harm can be equal to harms in other parts of life. There is not much difference between horse riding and ecstasy."

    The professor said equasy - short for equine addiction syndrome - caused more than 100 deaths a year.

    He added: "This attitude raises the critical question of why society tolerates - indeed encourages - certain forms of potentially harmful behaviour but not others such as drug use."

    Ecstasy use is linked to around 30 deaths a year, up from ten a year in the early 1990s. Fatalities are caused by massive organ failure from overheating or the effects of drinking too much water.

    David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said: "He is entitled to his personal opinion, but if his personal view conflicts so very strongly with his public duties, it would be honourable to consider his position. If he does not, the Home Secretary should do it for him."

    © Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

    swim is now wondering about some of the statments this guy has made and is thinking many things like this could be what got him sacked.
  8. YeaXTC
    Re: Ecstasy 'no worse than horse riding'

    great article however, swim also agrees with the above ideas! its not the MDMA itself thats harmful (when used in moderation, usually a month between doses) and at reasonable doses, not 15-20 pills in one night. Its the other shit, binders, cuts, fillers, ETC that are the bad part of x, especially in higher doses these cuts can be detremental to ones health and overall well being. if there was prescription grade MDMA where people could get accurate dosing and clean MDMA without all the horrible shit added in, including meth and other addictive drugs, swim thinks that the overall idea of MDMA would be pretty harmless besides the negative side effects such as teeth grinding and staying up all night and into the next day :)!
  9. adzket
    swim does how ever feel allan johnston home secutery did take this out of contexted as he is mp for one of the uk's most deprived areas. and said that in his area kid are not likely to hurt them selfs riding a horse but are likly to spend a life on drugs. one has to take into acount that may be the case as few in his area would ever go near a horse. but when you word it that a larger % of people who ride horse's get hert than the % of those taking xtc it is a true statment. swim did meet alan johnston when education secutery and he seems the un-librel minded sort of person to jump to rash desisions than other m.p's
  10. Piglet
    Dr Nutt really is a giant in his field. The government think that drug classification is a 'policy' issue rather than a guide to the dangers of a particular compound. Totally silly.
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