Doctors Advise MPs Not To Legalise Drugs

Doctors Advise MPs Not To Legalise Drugs
Posted by FoM on January 16, 2002 at 10:38:38 PT
By Nigel Morris, Political Correspondent
Source: Independent
Legalising cannabis would store up health problems for a generation and risk fuelling demand for the drug, MPs were warned by doctors.Medical experts, giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, said too little was known about the long-term side-effects of cannabis to justify the move. The MPs, who are reviewing drug laws, have heard several calls to legalise soft drugs. 
But Rob Barnett, of the British Medical Association, said cannabis had about 400 ingredients, some known to be carcinogenic. He said: "I don't think there's enough evidence that making it more readily available is safe for society."Dr Barnett said many smokers and heavy drinkers wished they could stop. "It is the same with drug users – a lot of people who start the habit become addicted and don't have the willpower to stop."Clare Gerada, of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said ministers should have the courage to stand up to the "something must be done" justification for drug law reform. "I see every single day, patients who use drugs and have terrible problems ... You will get more of them if you make it more legal, or less illegal."Christine Glover, former president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, attacked the idea that ecstasy should be legalised. She said: "We don't want to be endorsing it or encouraging it."The committee was also told that many family doctors, the first point of contact for most drug addicts, were ill-prepared for coping with drug-related problems.Andrew Thompson, NHS Alliance adviser on drugs, said drug addiction was exacting an increasing toll on GPs, especially in inner-city areas, where an estimated one in 50 people used heroin or cocaine.Dr Gerada said: "Most doctors will have no training in substance misuse ... Lack of training inevitably leads to fear and prejudices, which in turn fosters negative responses towards this patient group." Source: Independent (UK)Author: Nigel Morris, Political CorrespondentPublished: January 16, 2002Copyright: 2002 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.Contact: letters Articles:A History of Debating Marijuana Legalization Britain is Going Dutch Pragmatic Path To Cannabis Reform
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Comment #13 posted by RavingDave on January 18, 2002 at 21:11:56 PT
Details on that study...
can be found at:
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Comment #12 posted by RavingDave on January 18, 2002 at 19:36:39 PT
Conflict of Interest
Doctors have much to lose in the decriminalization of marijuana. So much, in fact, that I'd say this constitutes a huge conflict of interest on the part of the medical establishment. Why endorse a (potentially) freely available medicine that could put many of them out of business? I'd say this, more than anything, is proof of the efficacy of cannabis as a medical aid. After all, it's hard to patent something like THC.This is very similar to the recent outcry of the Canadian police against decriminalization. It's obvious that they have much to lose if they can't arrest all those harmless pot smokers. They might even have to cut back on staff.Incidentally, I'm reminded of a study in which the researcher organization advocated cannabis as a medicine, but recommended trying to find a way to bottle it, ostensibly to cut down on the possible adverse effects of smoking. This thinly-veiled attempt to capture the profits for pharmaceutical companies turned my stomach. Maybe I need some cannabis?
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Comment #11 posted by freedom fighter on January 16, 2002 at 21:45:01 PT
Just by listening to these "Doctors"
is sure giving me a health problem..It is a FACT,,World's greatest problem is not the use of drugs itself. IT IS THE LACK OF DRUGS to help those who are suffering in pain.I did'nt invent this statement. Just visit the World Health Org. and find out for yourself. ff
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on January 16, 2002 at 18:09:12 PT
most Western Doctors are arrogant control freaks
Most doctors are extremely disciplined and feel pride and arrogance that, since they were smart and diligent enough to get through med school (and the absurd hazing ritual if intense residency work) they must know better than everyone else. Also, we're talking about a group of people that gave up on much of the fun and carefree lifestyle of their 20's in order to pursue their MD's. Since they clamped down so hard on themselves, they don't want anyone else to have fun with cannabis.I'm basically talking from experience both with personal friends of mine, and from 2 or 3 terrible experiences of malpractice, including non-reversible surgery, that were perpetrated on me by top specialists.  My life's experiences have led me to disrespect doctors (this is a huge generalization, btw, many good ones out there) more than lawyers. At least lawyers don't hide behind a white coat and falsified caring demeanor while they screw you for your money.If this sounds crazy, I'm open to other theories of why most doctor's groups are complicit or actively in favor of persecuting cannabis users. The facts are there for anyone who has a scientific mind to see - in my state, only 4% of the people who sought rehab help said marijuana was the primary drug - alcohol, cocaine, and heroin all had about one third of the pie (from an FBI report). Interesting that nurses groups actively support cannabis law reform - but not surprising, given that their primary mission is reducing suffering, not self-aggrandizement.
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on January 16, 2002 at 17:28:46 PT
Pharms vs. Organics
Is it possible that these doctors,who probably prescribe unnecessary medications like many of their U.S. counterparts, could be taking kickbacks from the pharmaceutical companies? I know I have been misdiagnosed several times with various ailments & prescribed expensive medicine which did no good & some harm. The pharms don't want any competition from cannabis,which can be grown in anyones back yard.And Observer, thanks for "observing" the fact that they never mention JAIL!!! People who use cannabis & cause no harm the person or property of another SHOULD NOT BE PUT IN JAIL!!!
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Comment #8 posted by CorvallisEric on January 16, 2002 at 16:12:27 PT
Maybe the reason they don't talk about jail ...
... is because it's seldom imposed on members of their socio-economic class, especially in Europe. It's just a distant abstraction that doesn't hit them personally hard enough. Same with politicians. Maybe Prince Harry should go to jail after all.
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on January 16, 2002 at 15:16:26 PT
In the end it's a moral decision
In the end, the cannabis laws are really about how much humans are willing to make other humans suffer on some imagined basis.After all, Mengele was a doctor too.
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Comment #6 posted by SirReal on January 16, 2002 at 14:45:04 PT:
I guess the alcohol lobbyists got to the doctors with a bigger check than the activists did....
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Comment #5 posted by isobar2000 on January 16, 2002 at 14:24:52 PT
I can understand the reasoning of keeping drugs such as Coke, and Heroin illegal. But to put Marijuana in the same category with truly addictive and harmful dugs is ludicrous. I have smoked Marijuana since I was about 15 years old, and I am now almost 40. Yes for long period of times I was a very heavy smoker, smoking it several times a day for months on end. I have also stopped smoking Marijuana at several times in my life for a few months to a few years and never had a problem with stopping. To say that Marijuana is addictive is a bunch of crap. I have known a lot of people who are just like me, and they never had a problem with it. In my mid 20s I used Coke. I snorted it and smoked it; and in a very short period of time I found myself depended on it. I lost respect for myself; as well as, my friends and family. I thank god at the time I was not married. My job suffered I was out-of-control. I got the help that I needed, and now have a family and a good life. I can’t say anything about Heroin because I never went down that road, but if it is as addictive as Coke then it needs to be eradicated. I guess what I am trying to say here is that I am tired of people saying that Marijuana is a highly dangerous drug and needs to be dealt with the same way as Coke or Heroin. People who say that Marijuana is addictive are people who have a hidden agenda, or they are someone who is, or is in trouble and is using Marijuana as an excuse. It has been a couple of years since I have smoked, only because I am forced to by means of drug testing from my employer.
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Comment #4 posted by observer on January 16, 2002 at 14:09:39 PT
Forgetting about the Little Detail of J A I L
Did these caring and compassionate doctors and "health professionals" just accidently (I'm sure) forget to mention the teensy detail of JAIL? Again?Why is that? Better, perhaps, to avoid the issue of prison and jail for drug users, and concentrate on "safe for society," instead? Sure it is. No need to panic the herd with little details at this point.
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Comment #3 posted by aocp on January 16, 2002 at 13:12:11 PT
double standards
Dr Barnett said many smokers and heavy drinkers wished they could stop. "It is the same with drug users – a lot of people who start the habit become addicted and don't have the willpower to stop."And so the answer would appear to be to ban the adult, regulated use of these substances because the black market that would spring up to supply them and all its associated ill effects on society would pale in comparison to the benefits of "saving" morons from themselves, right? Oops, i forgot about the unspoken, yet readily-acceptable double standards we endorse. My bad.
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Comment #2 posted by Slatts on January 16, 2002 at 12:54:19 PT:
Medical experts?
Strange how after 5000 years of use we still “don’t know enough about the effects of cannabis”. Yet after a mere five years Ritalin was approved.Slatts
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo MD on January 16, 2002 at 10:57:35 PT:
More Paranoia
Truth be told, more is known about the side effects of cannabis than perhaps any other drug in history.In terms of what really needs to be mentioned, it is a short list. Prolonged smoking produces cough, throat irritation, and possibly in extreme cases, a contribution to throat cancer. No pulmonary cancer in a cannabis-only smoker has ever been documented. Additionally, cannabis- only smokers do not seem to develop emphysema.Acute cannabis exposure may impair short term memory, but it is reversible. It does not appear to produce long-term cognitive sequelae, endocrine, hematological, immunological, or other damage. Very soon, we will be able to release the Chronic Use IND Study, and I hope that readers will assist in disseminating the information.
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