by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced." — Albert Einstein
“Consider the number of people who have taken drugs that are purported to cause violence. More than 37 million Americans report trying cocaine at least once; 9 million have admitted smoking crack; LSD has been taken by some 23 million U.S citizens. Imagine the mayhem if each of these users turned violent.
Further, synthetic marijuana — which is sold as “K2″ or “Spice” and has also been blamed recently for violent crimes — has been tried by 11% of American high school seniors. There are no figures for another “legal high” known as bath salts, which contain amphetamine-like compounds and which an emergency room doctor blamed for the Miami attack.
Basically, if drugs were a simple cause of violence, we’d be in far more trouble than we are now, with a crime rate many times what it actually is. Indeed, despite the rise of the new legal highs, rates of violent crime have generally adhered to a decades-long decline.”
— Maia Szalavitz - Why Drugs Are Getting a Bum Rap in the Miami Face-Eating Attack | TIME
“If you want any evidence that drugs have won the drug war, you just need to read the scientific studies on legal highs.”
The war on drugs has a new front, and so far it appears to be a losing one.
Synthetic mimics of marijuana, dissociative drugs and stimulants - such as the “bath salts” allegedly consumed by Rudy Eugene, the Florida man shot after a horrific face-eating assault - are growing in popularity and hard to control. Every time a compound is banned, overseas chemists synthesize a new version tweaked just enough to evade a law’s letter.
It’s a giant game of chemical Whack-a-Mole.
Pictured: A 2011 traffic stop seizure in South Carolina yielded bath salts and synthetic marijuana with a street value of $10,000.
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Officials monitoring the European drugs market identified 20 new synthetic psychoactive substances in the first four months of this year, according to Paolo Deluca, co-principal investigator at the Psychonaut Research Project, an EU-funded organisation based at King’s College London, which studies trends in drug use. He said officials at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), an early-warning unit, had detected 20 new substances for sale by May this year. In 2010 the agency had noted 41 new psychoactive substances, a record number, many of which were synthetic cathinone derivatives that can imitate the effects of cocaine, ecstasy or amphetamines.
[…] Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at TDPF, said attempts to ban one new substance after another was “like a cat chasing its tail”. He added: "Each time they ban one, another emerges. It seems to show a blindness to the basic market dynamic, effectively creating a void for backstreet chemists to create another product." The group is one of many urging the government to adopt a regulatory position between total prohibition or an “internet-free-for all”. +