British doctors warned this week that ‘significant numbers’ of British clubbers are taking high strength MDMA by mistake, believing they are snorting other drugs including ketamine and coke.
"We see a lot of patients who have taken white powder they think is cocaine but is clearly MDMA," Dr Paul Dargan, of Guy's and St Thomas's poisons unit told a meeting of scientists considering reclassifying E from Class A to class B, "It is a clinically common issue.” (London Standard)
Leading ecstasy expert and panel member Professor Val Curran also spoke at the meeting and during the debate described numerous previous studies linking E with memory loss and depression as ‘meaningless’.
“We have not found [one] person who was dependent on ecstasy," the University College London Professor noted, "The people who used it were actually a bit less depressed. There's no robust evidence of long-term effects. Further research is needed,” she added (BBC).
Both the BBC and Times noted the British government’s immediate refusal to consider reclassifying E ‘whatever the evidence’, reflecting their ongoing policy of rejecting all scientific advice about drugs they don’t agree with.
In more drugs news, the Guardian meanwhile predicted politicians of both parties are likely to ignore the recommendations of a United Nations drug policy review document due out next year, which proposes setting up a ‘regulated market’ for cannabis.
The UN backed Beckley Foundation reportedly found that most harm associated with cannabis comes from social issues related to being arrested and/ or imprisoned and suggesting taxing and controlling supply in a similar way to alcohol could reduce harm dramatically.
"Although cannabis can have a negative impact on health, including mental health, in terms of relative harms it is considerably less harmful than alcohol or tobacco," the report says, "Historically, there have only been two deaths worldwide attributed to cannabis, whereas alcohol and tobacco together are responsible for an estimated 150,000 deaths per annum in the UK alone." (The Guardian)
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)