Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ecstasy 'No More Dangerous than Riding a Horse'

Interesting choice of phrase, but regardless, a leading British expert says taking the drug, ecstasy, is no more dangerous than riding a horse. Actually, if the figures he gives are accurate, the truth is that taking ecstasy is a whole lot less dangerous than riding a horse - by over 1/3! Horse-riding is said to account for some 100 deaths annually, where ecstasy leads to a mere 30.

"Drug harm can be equal to harms in other parts of life. There is not much difference between horse-riding and ecstasy," said Professor Nutt, the chairman of the ACMD, or Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which advises the government.

Next week, the ACMD plan to suggest ecstasy be downgraded from a class-A drug to a class-B, but they distanced themselves from Prof. Nutt's findings, saying, "...[it] was done in respect of his academic work and not as chair of the ACMD."

David Raynes, chairman for the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said that Prof. Nutt's article amounted to "his personal opinion." He further suggested Nutt's position on the ACMD should be looked into by the home secretary, if he refuses to step down.

Raynes forwarded the fear campaign against ecstasy with a stern, "Ecstasy can and does kill unpredictably. There is no such thing as a 'safe dose.'"

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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