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More 'Legal High' scaremongering

Rating:
4/5,
  1. Lunar Loops
    Anything that impairs judgement can’t be doing any good,’ .....Now there's an interesting statement.

    They obviously don't have much to report on in Guernsey and have obviously only just spotted the brightly coloured 'legal high bashing' bandwagon. Safely aboard, this is how they report it (http://www.thisisguernsey.com/code/shownewsarticle.pl?ArticleID=001449):
    ‘Legal high’ alert

    by Nicci Martel


    IT CAN be bought in eighths, smoked in spliffs and produces the same effects as cannabis... and is completely legal.
    [​IMG]But what are such products’ long-term effects? (Picture by Steve Sarre, 0375845)

    Spice and other ‘legal highs’ are products that can be bought over the counter and on the Internet. But drug support workers are urging users to treat them with caution.
    ‘It seems to be very popular in Guernsey at the moment,’ said Mark Sullivan, who works for the charity NCH.
    ‘We’re concerned because we’re seeing young people using it and it seems to be as potent as cannabis. But there is no way of telling what long-term effects it will have.
    ‘I suppose we feel the term “legal” is misleading people into thinking these products are completely safe. The truth is, these products are totally untested as far as we know.’
    Spice is one of a range of products being used as a substitute for cannabis. It is part of a global multi-million-pound industry that also produces legal herbal pills, designed to simulate the effect of amphetamines, and herbal hallucinogens. Its ingredients are a combination of plants and extracts, including vanilla, marshmallow, rose and baybean, which is known to have psychoactive qualities.
    ‘Anything that impairs judgement can’t be doing any good,’ said Mr Sullivan.
    Drug Concern manager Tracey Rear agreed that any substance that altered the mindset should be treated with caution. She had seen people who were under the influence of such substances, but it was difficult to do anything about it because of its legal status. She said that although it could offer drug users a legal alternative, it could also encourage people to experiment with illegal substances.
    ‘I wonder if young people who start smoking it might move on to smoking cannabis, which is certainly not something we’d want to encourage.’
    Emma Ogier is the manager of Bits and Pieces, a local store which stocks Spice and other similar products.
    ‘It’s herbal, and there are a lot worse things people could be doing, or buying out there. We pay our taxes and it’s better than that money going to drug dealers.’
    The substance is sold strictly to over-18s only and Miss Ogier said it should be treated no differently to alcohol.
    ‘It’s the same as drink: you’ve got to be careful and responsible with how you use it.’

Comments

  1. Nature Boy
    "Anything that impairs judgement can’t be doing any good," said Mr Sullivan.

    Debating, reading, watching television, seeing a movie, flying a kite in the park? Virtually any experience can impair judgement if it has a profound impact on the individual. Sweeping generalisations like this frustrate me.

    She had seen people who were under the influence of such substances, but it was difficult to do anything about it because of its legal status.

    Bet she wanted to give them all a good poking into the shoulder with a pointy finger followed by a verbal rant. And it was legal status that prevented her? How about you form and express your own damn opinions and not let the government do it for you, you puppet without a string!

    "I wonder if young people who start smoking it might move on to smoking cannabis, which is certainly not something we’d want to encourage."

    Not likely but if simpletons like this believe it, I guess cannabis is no longer the "gateway" drug. Woohoo!

    "We pay our taxes and it’s better than that money going to drug dealers."

    Indeed.

    "It’s the same as drink: you’ve got to be careful and responsible with how you use it."

    Well they're actually probably nothing like drink but if it keeps prohibitionist slobs happy, comments like this are needed unfortunately.
  2. snapper
    Well, I like the strategy of outlawing all the safe, well characterized drugs like cannabis, so that all the kids have left are solvents, alcohol and repressed anger/frustration. Much healthier !
    All this is such obvious proof that people will seek intoxication no matter how prohibited or dangerous the intoxicants are! Might as well legalize the safe and well-studied ones so that less risks are taken by users and the products are of consistent dose and quality.
    Of course that line of thinking just facilitates addicts getting their dirty highs, which any sanctimonious god fearing, tea-totaling 'individual' would tell you leads to nothing but depravity and damnation.
    You'all oughta be ashamed !
  3. Powder_Reality
    This quote bothers me in particular. I think it can be agreed that LSD and other psychedelic compounds are responsible for a good portion of our advances in technology. I recall reading a post by zera recently that explained how LSD was partly responsible for the creation of the internet:

    Another thing that always bugs me is that a large portion of prohibitionists are usually members of a religious organization (Evangelical Christians in particular), and will quite often preach that using drugs is wrong because it is "ungodly", an insult to the church; or something to that effect. I think it can be agreed upon that modern-day religions have major roots in mind-expanding substances, (particularly psilocybin-containing mushrooms) and their creation was greatly influenced by these substances.

    Sorry for kind of going off-topic there, but I felt the need to post my opinion on that quote.
  4. firewall
    If by "a good portion" you mean an insignificant amount, then I agree. I apologize for my cynicism, but it is important to realize that the work of the vast majority of scientists is not influenced by psychedelics.
  5. Nicaine
    SWIM is just as well with 'legal highs' remaining unpopular, since they tend to become illegal fast once they're in the public consciousness. Unfortunately, scaremongering like this probably works to popularize the stuff more often than not. Tell people "don't do it, it's bad" and they want to do it... human nature.
  6. zera
    Ever hear of this dude named Francis Crick? He discovered the structure of DNA, and is pretty much the father of all modern biotechnology. There's pretty strong evidence that he was under the influence of LSD when he conceived of his Nobel prize winning discovery.

    I agree that scientists and technicians probably aren't influenced by psychedelics to the same degree as say artists and writers, but there is a minority who engage in drug use to enchance themselves. Research at a high level involves an extraordinary amount of creative thinking, it's quite different than doing a physics problem set, and given the psychedlics ability to stimulate creativity I can easily see how they would be useful allies for scientists and mathemeticians.

    It's impossible to know how many in these fields engage in psychedelics use, and how much they're effected by it (most people don't want it popularized that their breakthrough discovery was the product of a mescaline binge). However I would conjecture it's higher than one might suspect, reasons: 1) most researchers work in university settings and the people who graduated in the 60s are still around, 2) the amazing breakthroughs in math,science, engineering, and computer science that started happening at a much higher rate in the 1960s, 3) academic research is a high stakes, high pressure game (tenure requires getting published), I'm sure many researchers are willing to give themselves any sort of edge to break through an obstacle including ingestion of a psychedelic to alter their thought process.
  7. Powder_Reality
    I realize that LSD and other psychedelics are obviously not soley responsible for every advancement in technology, but the word "technology" has a very broad definition, and is relative to many different fields/subjects. Of course psychedlics are not responsible for every advancement in every technological field, but it certainly has had an enormous impact on quite a few of these fields.

    For instance, LSD was first synthesized in 1938, but it's effects weren't realized until 1943. During the 1940's, better biochemical and analytical chemistry tools were becoming available for biomedical research. During this time scientists were just starting to identify the various chemicals found in the human brain. One discovery they made was that serotonin had the same chemical framework that was embodied within the core structure of LSD. At the time, scientists believed that LSD could provide a model psychosis, and made the connection that disturbances in brain serotonin might be involved in mental illness. If it were not for the discovery of LSD, scientists may have never made the connection between mental illness and disturbances in neurochemistry.

    So sorry if I may have worded my statement wrong; I realize that not every technological advancement was caused by some scientist dropping acid and having a "eureka" moment. But it's not fair to say that LSD and other psychedelics are responsible for an "insignificant amount" of advances in technology.

    Well now I feel like I've gone way off-topic, so I'll leave it at that.

    P.S.
    I just have to add that zera makes a good argument that maybe quite a few of these advances were indeed caused by a "eureka" moment while under the influence of psychedelics. As he states, we would be hard pressed to prove that this is what happened (or to what extent), but the evidence and hypothesis he provides makes for a strong case.
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