Name a Substance More Harmful to Society Than Heroin or Crack?

Alcohol.

At least, so says a recent study by British experts, who evaluated “substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana” [and ranked] them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.”

Alcohol earned this dubious honor “because it is so widely used and has devastating consequences not only for drinkers but for those around them.” Nevertheless, researchers do not advocate a return to prohibition. Leslie King, one of the authors of the study, notes that “alcohol is too embedded in our culture” to outlaw. In other words, too many people are enjoying alcohol safely to warrant making it illegal, despite the overall cost to society.

However, marijuana, which tested much less harmful to society than either alcohol, heroin or cocaine, remains illegal. David Nutt, one of the lead researchers in the study, was fired for criticizing the government’s decision to increase penalties for possession of marijuana.

One Response to “Name a Substance More Harmful to Society Than Heroin or Crack?”

  1. […] Name a Substance More Harmful to Society Than Heroin or Crack? November 2010 […]

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