"Sociologists often ask why young black boys so underperform educationally. Well dope might have something to do with it."
Because all young black boys smoke a couple of ounces a day? It's that damned rap music! Interestingly, as part of C4's sometimes-interesting, sometimes-shit week of programmes about racism, there was one in particular about whether IQ was a racial divide, and near the end, they talked to someone who had done a lot of research on IQ changes over the last 40 years (ie compiled stats), and had seen that although IQ was originally lower in black people, it has been increasing at a phenomonal rate since they started getting the chance of equality, and his projections suggest it will outstrip the IQs of white people in the next 30 years or so (it's still a reasonably slow process), I'd postulate that we're seeing the same sort of thing in the UK.
"Back to the psychiatric harms, any A&E doctor will tell you of the inordinate number of people coming through their doors with dope psychosis. Psychosis is not to be taken lightly - it's like a heart attack of the mind, to put it crudely. It can take years to recover from, and often people do not emerge per se."
No doubt. I don't have time to find it right now, but there was a Scandinavian (think it was Swedish, might be wrong) study which looked at something that other studies on drug-induced psychosis didn't - family history of mental health, by compiling the results of other studies and looking at the family histories of the people involved. It found that an overwhelming majority of the people who suffered drug-induced psychosis had a clear family history of mental illness, supporting the view that drug-induced psychosis is an early warning sign of something deeper. Now, instead of hearsay (although I respect the opinions of any doctor), I'd like to see some cold hard facts on how many people annually are admitted to hospital with cannabis-induced psychosis, compare it with statistics on the number of cannabis users in the UK, and then compare it with the number of, say, drinkers who have liver failure, or smokers who have lung cancer. Is it a serious topic for discussion? Of course it is. Will people still end up in that situation if it stays illegal? Certainly. Will people be more aware of the issues and more likely to get such psychosis treated early (instead of being scared of admitting to any official, even a doctor, that they've been getting a bit more paranoid recently than usual) if it's legalised? Almost definitely.
"El Reg sadly backs the hippy-dippy libertarian stance, clearly, by implying that policymaking which bans drugs, isn't based on evidence. I hope you guys and girls might think more deeply about the implications of drug use - you're a successful, bright bunch, who clearly have your problems licked, but there are a lot of folk out there who Prof Nutt gave the green light to, when it should have shown up a very, very bright red."
Bloody libertarians (shit, I forgot to call them hippies, maybe you should have tried commie pinkos as well)! It's not so much a case of policymaking not based on evidence, but a case of "we'll commission an investigation so that we can say we have scientific approval" and then ignoring the report because it goes against their preconceived notions. This makes it all a waste of money. How about we agree to disagree on drug policy, but at least agree that paying for an investigation that you're going to ignore, and then have a paddy when a scientist tells the press that you ignored it, is a bit silly really.