A Sad Day When Drug Reformers Capitulate to The Evidence-Free Claim: ‘Drugs Are Dangerous’.
Transform released this astonishing video two days ago, on 9th March 2015. It is astonishing because it is so fundamentally flawed and it represents a betrayal of the values for which so many have supported Transform’s work over so many years.
Drugs are not dangerous, certainly not cannabis.
This is a straw man argument, now fundamental to the strategy of Transform, the UK’s most generously funded drugs policy group. They build up the harms of drugs, falsely, without evidence, in order to be able to ride in on their white stallions and rescue us from this imaginary danger.
So now they do the job of the prohibitionists for us. They have bought right into this inaccurate and misleading mindset and Transform is now promoting drugs as dangerous. Transform is adding to the messages and media storm from the tabloids, ignorant politicians and the moralising hypocrites that drive the war on drugs.
Are cars dangerous? Is a bottle of vodka dangerous?
Only if they are misused or abused and then they are both far more dangerous than cannabis.
Cannabis doesn’t need to be regulated because it is dangerous. It needs to be regulated because prohibition is dangerous and causes far more harm than cannabis ever has or ever will.
At least 95% of cannabis use is harmless and without risk. It is a miniscule proportion of people who are in danger of any harm. They begin using cannabis at a young age, use it heavily, daily, have a genetic predisposition to mental health issues and will have other component factors in their life such as other drugs (particularly alcohol), life events, family problems, etc. All the research shows that cannabis is never more than just one factor amongst a complex mix that leads to mental illness.
Last year Danny Kushlick, also of Transform, came out with this nonsense that ‘cannabis is dangerous’. I wrote about it then: Cannabis is Neither ‘Harmless’ Nor ‘Dangerous’. Now, in this latest video, Steve Rolles confirms this misguided, self-defeating path that Transform is embarked on.
I remember, just a few years ago, Steve arguing that even most cocaine use is without harm and he was right. Millions use cocaine every day and only a very few slip into dependency or a self-destructive use pattern. It isn’t as safe as cannabis but it’s probably no more harmful than alcohol.
So why is Transform set on this course? Next thing we’ll have leading scientists adopting the same terminology – ‘skunk’ – as the tabloids use to demonise cannabis… Oh yes, it’s already happened.
All organisations become self-serving unless they have active shareholders or members to keep them on track. In my opinion, those leading Transform should remember how and why they started and I think it was mainly about truth, about combating the lies, misinformation and propaganda that the drug war is based on.
Transform needs to get back to the truth.
To sum up, I quote the very wise words of Lee Prew, a CLEAR member and a man who has his eye on the ball.
“Is it just me or are drug reformers like Transform and The Beckley Foundation part of the misinformation that dominates this country’s lack of understanding and honesty towards drugs? If these people that support positive changes to our system can’t even get the facts right what hope do we really stand of achieving workable drugs policies?
If they believe that simplification of terminology (skunk & hash) and catch all statements like “drugs are dangerous” are in any way helpful to the situation they are wrong. The drug issue is a complicated one with many facets (as we can see with cannabis alone) and by simplifying the situation they only go to undermine their own work. Very worrying.”