UK scientists revolted against the current drug classification system saying it does not “fit the purpose”. In addition, they have drawn up a new system that would assess drugs by the harm they represent to individuals, society and to whether they induce dependence or not.
The new classification system places legal drugs tobacco and alcohol in front of cannabis, ecstasy and several other Class A drugs. Alcohol was rated the fifth most dangerous substance, tobacco ninth, cannabis eleventh and ecstasy eighteenth. The most dangerous drugs are heroin, cocaine and barbiturates. They pointed out that one person a week in the UK dies from alcohol poisoning but less than 10 of ecstasy use a year.
The scientists report that the current ABS system failed to give specific information about the risks of the drugs. Too much importance has been given to unusual reactions, which affect only a small number of users and only serve to undermine trust in warnings about the danger of drugs.
The newly drawn system is organized well so that it could be easily updated following new researches and new facts.
The Academy of Medical Sciences group is planning to put its recommendations to ministers in the autumn.