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UK Doctors Attack Demonisation Of Drugs

Author: Jonty Skrufff (
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Britain's leading medical journal the Lancet described illegal drugs as being an "undeniable, even routine' part of many people's lives this week, and warned that moralistic "war on drugs' style rhetoric is preventing doctors from tackling health related issues properly.

"The Lancet does not endorse illegal drug use but we believe that the cloak of secrecy shrouding those who use illicit substances is the most destructive feature by far of the cultural condemnation of recreational drug use," the prestigious journal declared in a leader article.

"Discussions framed by moralizing or by adherence to social ideals have little utility in a society of which drug use is an inescapable part."

The magazine's comments coincided with a Guardian feature about "creator of MDMA' Dr Alexander Shulgin which highlighted the "resurgence in interest in the therapeutic effects of MDMA (ecstasy)', despite its illegality.

"Successful results have been reported from trials in the use of MDMA on people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and in the relief of anxiety in patients with terminal cancer," the paper reported, "It is a return to the spirit of the original use of MDMA: after its synthesis by Shulgin in the late 1960s, its first use was psychotherapy."

">,8150,1508669,00.html (Dr Alexander Shulgin: "A lot of these materials are themselves, or are related to, materials that could be used in humans for determining the mysteries of how the mind works. They're research tools . . .')