Alcohol and tobacco more dangerous than ecstasy, says study

Related tags Drugs Illegal drug trade Drug

Alcohol and tobacco more dangerous than ecstasy, says study
Government urged to consider reclassifying drugs according to the harm they do - and putting alcohol and tobacco above illegal drugs like ecstasy.

The government is to be urged to consider reclassifying drugs according to the harm they do - and putting alcohol and tobacco above illegal drugs like ecstasy.

According to yesterday's Observer, The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce's commission on illegal drugs, communities and public policy has been examining what it believes is a 'serious misfit between the law relating to drugs and the way in which drugs are actually used by members of society'.

We suggest a new system for evaluating the risks of individual drugs that is based as far as possible on facts and scientific knowledge.​Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council.

The commission, which includes John Yates, the Metropolitan Police's assistant commissioner, wants to find ways of making the UK's drugs laws more effective.

It has highlighted a study carried out by Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, that suggests classification should be linked to the relative risks involved in taking each drug.

Blakemore suggests current drugs laws are outdated and the system should look at the harm each drug does to society.

He told the paper: "The system has evolved in an unsystematic way from somewhat arbitrary foundations with seemingly little scientific basis. We suggest a new system for evaluating the risks of individual drugs that is based as far as possible on facts and scientific knowledge.

"It could form the basis of a new classification scheme for the Misuse of Drugs Act."

Below is what the paper says the drugs league table would look like if the drugs were assessed in order of danger

1 Heroin2 Cocaine3 Barbiturates4 Street methadone5 Alcohol6 Ketamine7 Benzodiazepine8 Amphetamines9 Tobacco10 Buprenorphine11 Cannabis12 Solvents13 4-MTA14 LSD15 Methylphenidate16 Anabolic steroids17 GHB18 Ecstasy19 Alkyl nitrates20 Khat

Related topics Legislation

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