martedì 18 giugno 2013

David Nutt: ban on drug research 'worst scientific censorship since Galileo'

Former chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs David Nutt has called international drug laws "the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo".
In Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Nutt has co-written a paper arguing that "the decision to outlaw these drugs was based on their perceived dangers, but in many cases the harms have been overstated" and that psychoactive drugs must be exempted from global UN conventions on drugs.
Nutt's co-authors are fellow former Council member Leslie King and University of Carolina pharmacologist David Nichols. Nutt was (in)famously sacked from his government advisor position in 2009 for arguing that government drug policy should be evidence-based.
In a statement quoted by Reuters, Nutt continued: "The laws have never been updated despite scientific advances and growing evidence that many of these drugs are relatively safe. And there appears to be no way for the international community to make such changes. This hindering of research and therapy is motivated by politics, not science."
"If we adopted a more rational approach to drug regulation, it would empower researchers to make advances in the study of consciousness and brain mechanisms of psychosis, and could lead to major treatment innovations in areas such as depression and PTSD," he said.
Nutt had announced in April that he wished to begin experiments in treating psylocibin -- the active ingredient in magic mushrooms -- and had secured funding to do so, but he has since struggled to obtain approval thanks to strict anti-psychoactive research regulations and legislation.

David Nutt: ban on drug research 'worst scientific censorship since Galileo'

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