Charts of the Day – The relative dangers of drugs

Many people talk about the harm of cannabis…unfortunately the alleged damage from cannabis use is much over-hyped and a long, long way from the number one most dangerous drug…alcohol. Here are the facts.



Even in the specific types of harm caused by various drugs cannabis is far from harmful. You will note the drug-specific mortality of cannabis: zero. This debate is all but over. Scientific evidence is becoming clearer and clearer…cannabis isn;t the evil drug that it is portrayed, leading to questions over why there is such and insistence on the continued illegality of cannabis. 




The Economist has been debating cannabis…and the closing argument from Ethan Nadelmann is compelling, albeit link heavy, but a useful resource for the gathering evidence of the positive aspects of cannabis use.

Legalisation may, as I noted last week, result in more adults using marijuana, but the negative consequences of any increase in use are likely to be modest given its relative safetycompared with most other psychoactive plants and substancesLegal regulation offers the promise of safer use, with consumers able topurchase their marijuana from licensed outlets and to know the type andpotency of their purchases—and to have peace of mind that such purchases will be free from contamination. Legalisation will also accelerate the transition from smoking marijuana in joints and pipes to consuming it in edible and vaporised forms, with significant health benefits for heavy consumers.

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide use marijuana not just “for fun” but because they find it useful for many of the same reasons that peopledrink alcohol or take pharmaceutical drugs. It’s akin to the beer, glass of wine, or cocktail at the end of the work day, or the prescribed drug to alleviate depression or anxiety, or the sleeping pill, or the aid to sexual function and pleasure. A decade ago, a subsidiary of The Lancet, Britain’s leading medical journal, speculated whether marijuana might soon emerge as the “aspirin of the 21st century“, providing a wide array of medical benefits at low cost to diverse populations. That prediction appears ever more prescient as scientists employed by both universities andpharmaceutical companies explore marijuana’s potential.

The failures, costs and harmful consequences of global marijuana prohibition are well documented, not just in my essays last week but also in the reporting of this newspaper and many other popularscholarly and even government-sponsored publications over many yearsEnrichmentand empowerment of criminal networkswidespread corruptionillicit market violence, arrests and incarceration of millions, untold billions wasted on futile interdiction, eradication and enforcement efforts, pointless diversion of limited criminal-justice resources, massive violations of civil rights and liberties, shameless governmental and inter-generational hypocrisies, ideological obstacles to scientific research—all these and more are the consequences of marijuana prohibition in just the past few decades, and constitute the principal reasons why responsible legal regulation, even given its risksis the right policy for most countries, and quite likely for all.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.