Monday, 2 November 2009

The Wootton report

I've been reading a UK Home Office document from the late 1960's called the Wootton Report. Apparently this was binned without being read by the Callaghan Government of the time, or possibly they did read it, but the findings did not gel with what the politicians of the day wanted. Rather like this row rumbling on between the UK Home Office and it's drug advisory team.

The Wootton report sets out, in fairly dry tones, the allegations about Cannabis and it's (ab)use and makes a studied comment and judgment which tends to challenge some of the prejudices about ingestion, toxicity, psychological impacts, and whether or not it is a 'gateway drug' to more harmful substances such as opiates.

Hey, don't take my word for it, take a look for yourself. It walks all over a bunch of mainstream myths. For example, Para 70 from section vi states;
"we think it is also clear that, in terms of physical harmfulness, cannabis is very much less dangerous than the opiates, amphetamines and barbiturates, and also less dangerous than alcohol."

This document is around forty years old yet it's recommendations remain, in my view at least, worthy of consideration.

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