oxford don speaks out on drug classification

By mopsie · May 9, 2006 · ·
  1. mopsie
    A prominent Oxford Professor of Physiology has criticized the government's classification of illegal drugs. The Head of the Medical Research Council, Dr Colin Blakemore, told the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that he saw the inclusion of LSD, magic mushrooms and ecstasy in the Class A category as illogical.

    Blakemore, who was called in to advise the committee's ongoing investigation into drug classification, said, "Not all the evidence was taken into account in the original classifications and subsequent evidence has not been well incorporated." A spokesperson from the independent drug advisory group Drugscope said, "I don't think anyone would argue that there are not serious anomalies in the classification system.

    However, the ongoing debate over cannabis shows that any government which tries to change the law to reclassify ecstasy to a lower class will have to face a great media outcry because of the message that this would appear to send out to the public." Blakemore told The Oxford Student, "I do not think that the scientific evidence justified the classification of hallucinogens and ecstasy as class A drugs ( and Professor John Strang agreed ).

    However, this certainly doesn't imply that I would encourage any student, or anyone else, to experiment with these drugs. There is no such thing as a drug without risk." Matt Sellwood, Green Party candidate for the Holywell Ward at this week's local elections, told the supported Blakemore's comments. He said, "The Green Party agrees that the current classification of drugs is arbitrary and needs to be reexamined.

    The fact that hallucinogens which are used in medical research are classified as equal to heroin is ridiculous." Unprocessed psychedelic mushrooms were recently reclassified as Class A substances. Evidence that LSD is responsible for genetic mutations and foetal abnormalities have been overturned by detailed research into its chromosomal effects. The effects of ecstasy use remain a highly-debated topic.

    A recent study of extreme abuse, profiling a subject who consumed 40,000 pills in nine years, found evidence of severe physical and mental health side-effects, including extreme memory problems, paranoia, hallucinations and depression. Dr Trevor Sharp, Reader in Pharmacology, said, "Professor Blakemore is the head of the Medical Research Council so he's not going to stick his head above the parapet without good advice."

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  1. Sky Walker
    Clearly this speaks volumes for the safety of MDMA and what ever other countless substances that were contained in those 40000 pills. Consider this, one pill containing MDMA will get you high, where as say, six pints of beer may also get you high. Now with an average consumption rate of 85 pills a week, 12 pills a day this will roughly equate to 72 pints of beer a day, 504 pints a week, 26208 pints a year. As you can probably guess most people wouldn't make it past the first week after such copious amounts of alcohol consumption never mind surviving nine years worth of abuse. However silly or incorrect you may find this comparison it is still a FACT that MDMA is a far safer substance than alcohol and that if someone were consuming just one pint of beer at the rate of that guys pill consumption after nine years they would probably be in far worse condition, if not dead.
  2. enquirewithin
    Good point-- alchohol is far more toxic than any of the dugs mentioned by Dr Blakemore.
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