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Do Drug Bans Hinder Scientific Research? Some Scientists Say ‘Yes’
Scientists are calling for a change; they feel (and they make a valid point, being scientists and all…) that the hard bans on drugs like ecstasy (MDMC), LSD, ketamine and magic mushrooms have made it difficult — or impossible altogether — to study drugs and their effects on the human brain, which in turn hampers new developments in medicine and treatment.
According to Reuters, “David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and a former chief adviser on drugs to the British government… said, ‘If we understand drugs more, and have a more rational approach to them, we will actually end up knowing more about how to deal with drug harms.'”
Nutt believes that the decision to make one drug legal, like alcohol, vs. another drug illegal, like marijuana, is arbitrary. And while he “doesn’t dispute that drugs are harmful… he takes issue with what he says are un-scientific decisions to ban one… while allowing another… to be freely and cheaply available on supermarket shelves.”
So where’s the line? No doubt, illicit drugs must be studied for scientific purposes, as the roots of drug addiction lies in the science of the brain. We know the dangers and pitfalls of alcohol, and many argue they’re no “better” than, say, psychedelics.
What do you think? Should scientists have to spend more time and money in order to study illicit drugs because of drug bans? And if not, wouldn’t that mean the ban on illicit drugs would have to be lifted or lessened? That’s certainly not what needs to happen, but at the same time, a better understanding of all drugs — both legal and illegal — and their effects is pertinent to the advancement in treatment.
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