Looking at the local paper the Isle of Thanet Gazette today I notice the lead article is about local grammar school children who got caught with the drug ecstasy.
I hesitate to say from the scientific point of view, so I will say the shop assistants understanding of this drug is that it increases the amount of pleasure one experiences by causing chemical changes in the brain.
There has been a long argument between the government’s experts advisors and the government about the reclassification of ecstasy, mainly because when it was first classified it was very new and little was known about it.
In 2000, the UK Police Foundation recommended ecstasy should be transferred from Class A to Class B."
In 2002, the Home Affairs Committee of the UK House of Commons, recommended that it should be reclassified to a Class B drug.
In February 2009, the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recommended that it be re classified from a class A drug to a class B drug.
The frustration here from the experts point of view being that if you are going to have different classifications for different types of drug that relate to how dangerous they are, it is important that you put the drugs in the right category.
Let us suppose we were to put weapons into classes.
A: nuclear; biological; chemical.
B: guns; conventional bombs.
C: Swords; bows and arrows.
Legal: cooking knives, gardening implements and cutlery.
Make no mistake all of them can kill people, but from the scientists point of view the situation prevailing within the government with ecstasy, is like taking a high-powered modern air gun and putting it in class A to prevent all-out airgun warfare from wiping out the population of continents and possibly causing the end of the world.
The result of all of this has been to make an important scientific expert state that ecstasy is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.
So how does all this effect Thanet school children, I suppose the answer to this one that most secondary school children at some time or another have tried a cigarette, now over the last few weeks a senior scientific advisor to the government has been saying that ecstasy is no more harmful that cigarettes.
The children in question have lost their grammar school places, somewhere along the line the scientific advice that was supposed to read, “don’t play with guns and bombs,” got changed to, “don’t play with your cutlery.”