The other day, everyone’s favourite advisory council, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), decided that “harms of the synthetic cannabinoids” in Spice and similar (fucking powerful) smoking mixtures “are broadly commensurate with those of cannabis and that they should be classified accordingly.” Apparently, “they have no recognised medical use”, which of course means we must ban them straight away! You can read the full report here [PDF; 128 kb] (except the bits that are withheld from the public… perhaps we can’t handle the truth?!).
Let us pause for a moment to consider the numerous medical applications of tobacco & alcohol… Oh, wait! What’s that, ACMD? There are none?! Didn’t think so. Apart from the blatant double standards, let’s talk about why they’re wrong.
Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in your brain and immune system. These includes the synthetics, such as JWH-018, THC in cannabis and of course our body’s own cannabinoid compounds (called endocannabinoids, which include Anandamide and many others). The fact that our body not only has these receptors, but also produces compounds to act on them means they’re important, otherwise they wouldn’t have evolved. Unfortunately, research into the cannabinoid system is difficult, because cannabis is illegal, so synthetic cannabinoids which aren’t flat-out illegal are a useful tool in the lab, both to help us learn more about the cannabinoid system and related processes such as feeding & anxiety, and in the quest to develop new drugs. Also, if very little research has been conducted using these compounds about to be banned, it’s no wonder that no specific medical uses have been discovered! These things take time.
One more interesting point… Cannabis itself has medical uses, so how can these similar compounds have none? In fact, just today, the BBC reported that Cannabis may prevent Osteoporosis. I’m not going to list all the medical reasons for legalising cannabis, because I’d be writing all day. If it had no uses what so ever, why do medical dispensaries exist in the US? Banning these compounds is a massive step backwards for medical science.
Needless to say, this has been picked up by a shitload of big news outlets, including The Guardian, The Metro, Sky News, BBC Radio 1 and The Times (who listed Coffeesh0p as a source! It’s a poor article, but christ, that cheered me up!) A lot of those sites allow users to comment under the article, so let’s take a look at a few:
Simple solution to stop people using Spice –
This is absolutely ridiculous. Banning a drug because of its “potential harm” with little research is laughable, especially seeing as it is reported to have similiar effectto cannabis of all things.
Is anyone able to explain whats implicitly wrong with psychoactive drugs in the first place?
I fail to see why spice should be banned without any evidence that it is dangerous. It seems to me our government just doesn’t like people getting high, probably incase they start thinking.
The powers that be like to control us, in other words — if it makes you feel good, or gives you some happiness, then ban it.
The stresses of paying tax are bad for me. Are they going to ban that too?
Everything we eat or do kill us slowly. Air kills us, although slowly. Time kills us. How much are they going to ban? Let people do what they want with their bodies, that is the meaning of life. If I want to smoke cannaboloids [sic] with chemicals on it, slap a warning on there and let me decide.
If they are going to ban this stuff for health reasons then they HAVE to ban alcohol and tobacco too, as they are just as, if not more, dangerous — except, of course, they provide the Govt with Tax..
Well we can’t have people getting high on anything but alcohol now can we?
After all it’s America’s recreational drug of choice and the UK’s too.
Now, these aren’t from threads found on pro-drugs forums, or comments under a pro-drugs blog, these are comments under actual articles on massive news sites. Not just one site, but all of those sites I mentioned that allow comments. I’m not saying that the internet-savvy people that’re likely to leave comments are representative of the population as a whole, but surely it says something about what the people want? I don’t think I’ll bother voting next time. Seriously.