Yesterday Saint Peacock posted a story about Dr Robin Carhart-Harris of Imperial College and his research into magic mushrooms as a potential treatment for depression.
One of the problems he has encountered in his thoroughly encouraging investigations is getting hold of a legal supply of the drug, as mushrooms are a Class A narcotic and possession is punishable by “up to seven years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both“.
According to the doctor in this interview with him in the Independent in 2014 the level of prohibition is not based on the threat that the mischeivous mushrooms pose to society, but rather on a historical fear and suspicion of this inconvenient fungus
Also, “psychedelics are scary because they reveal the mind, and people are scared of their own minds.”
All of which begs the question, Which drug does present the greatest threat to society, then?
Fortunately, the same article mentions a 2010 study published in the impenetrable medical journal The Lancet, in which Professor David Nutt (now Doctor Carhart-Harris’ boss) “ranked the 20 most commonly used drugs according to the evidence for the overall amount of harm they do to the users and to society.”
And which revolting, poisonous threat to the very fabric came out on top, do you imagine?
You may be surprised….
Right there at number one, with an overall harm score of 72 is…alcohol!
Who’d have thought? Friendly old sherry, pale ale, boutique gin and friends behaving so badly?
And just look at who they are creating greater havoc than: heroin, crack, meth, coke – it’s like when Leicester City won the Premier League.
Supporting Professor C-H’s claim that psychedelics cause little harm to users and less to society, LSD and mushrooms come in at 18 and 20 respectively, with overall harm scores of 7 and 6.
The report also contains this other stunning chart, which Saint Peacock is unable to understand, but it is a thing of beauty nonetheless.