Addiction Today – A Prohibition Supporting Comic

This blog has mentioned Addiction Today before. Addiction Today claims to be

the most widely-read, influential journal in the UK alcohol- and drug-treatment field

It is also, apparently, a publication dedicated to supporting the prohibition of drugs, keen to promote the view that any debate around the issue of drug law reform is equal to encouraging drug use and is designed to keep people tied to addiction.

If so, that is very worrying, because it clearly has an agenda which overrides factual debate and proper consideration of the issue of drugs and what to do about them. If this publication really is read by industry professionals, there is a big issue here.

Oddly it was just about exactly a year ago when this blog criticised Addiction Today for running an article by David Raynes of the National Drug Prevention Alliance which was no more than an opinion piece without any kind of critical balance.

Yesterday (24th July) they ran an article from an old favourite drug warrior Kathy Glyngell entitled

CANNABIS IN THE UK

With the tag line

IS A PERSISTENT CULTURE OF DENIAL LEAVING TREATMENT NEEDS HIDDEN AND PRIMING A PUBLIC-HEALTH TIME BOMB?

Their capitals.

This is yet another article from Ms Glyngell which runs true to form. As usual she cherry picks data to form a simplistic and alarmist view that the world is about to go to hell in a handcart because of the hidden time bomb of cannabis use.

It’s really not worth the time or effort it would take to do a critique of this article, you can read it here for yourself

Now, it is bad enough that Addiction Today, which claims to be a serious evidence based journal gives a platform to someone with such a clear political agenda as Ms Glyngell. What is worse is the fact that the magazine will not allow any criticism of this persons views.

I saw the article via the “Daily Dose” newsfeed and submitted a comment to Addiction Today and waited for it to be moderated. It never appeared, and indeed, no comments appeared, which I thought was odd. My comment had been to point out that the issues Ms Glygell uses as a basis for her warnings are – in as much as they are true – products of the prohibition regime; viz the increase in strength (or is it potency?) with so-called “skunk”, use of cannabis by young people and children and so on. My comment was aimed at simply making the point that illegal drugs are not controlled drugs and prohibition is not drug control.

This evening a notice was added to the article in the comments section:

Comments about this are now closed.
Please note that this charity does not publish comments which are ad hominem attacks or trolling.
The charity offers information to help addicts become free of addiction/ dependence; it thus does not publish comments encouraging use of illegal, psychoactive drugs.

More information about how cannabis affects the body was requested; answers are available at www.cannabisskunksense.co.uk

Not one comment was posted. Now I don’t, of course, know what other comments Addition Today received as a result of this article, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many hostile to the opinions of Ms Glygell. However, my comment was not “an ad hominem attack or trolling”, neither was it “encouraging use of illegal, psychoactive drugs”. It was, however, highly critical of the article on, I thought, reasonably factual grounds.

It seems Addiction today has no intention of allowing any debate whatsoever about the issue of drug law reform; it is firmly in the prohibitionist camp.

But worse is the fact that the publication has debased itself by referring its readers to the “Cannabisskunksense” website. Cannabisskunksense is run by Mary Brett – she of Europe Against Drugs. The best and most polite thing that can be said about cannabisskunksense  is that it is not a factual site and cannot be trusted to give honest, factual information about cannabis. it is not the sort of site a magazine which wants to be treated seriously would ever consider linking to.

Cannabisskunksense is a prohibitionist website pure and simple, formed after a break with the infamous “Talking About Cannabis” site famous a few years ago. If you want to check it out for yourself, google it, I UKCIA will not  link to it.

Additcion Today has lost any pretense it had to being a serious publication, it is little more than a comic of the prohibition movement.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Addiction Today – A Prohibition Supporting Comic

  1. It’s appalling isn’t it Derek. We need to take these people and rip them, very politely, to shreds.

    Cannabis Skunk Sense is a sham charity promoting political objectives using tainted evidence. It is a disgrace that Addiction Today should point towards it.

    the full version of Ms Gyngell’s article, published in “The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice” is even more alarming.

    http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org/Issues/Vol%206%20Issue%202/Cannabis%20in%20the%20UK%20_2_%20AT.pdf

  2. Yea my comment was nothing but polite and truthful, talking about the list of side effects GW pharma’s Sativex. Yet they disallowed my comment, i guess for simply disagreeing.

  3. My comment was well reasoned, polite and addressed each of their points clearly and rationaly. I was attacking no one and I certainly did not encourage anyone to take any substance. It should have been accepted by their stated criteria.That is one of the most undemocratic websites I have ever come across.

  4. Since Ken Clarkes admission that he cannot even control drugs within the prison system and that they are plainly losing if not going backwards the debate has changed.We are no longer debating “if” we should change the law on drugs but how and when.This makes kathy gyngell and the likes of her redundant.Her disproved and outdated views just wont sell papers so its either smoke a few joints and convert or remain an outsider in any future discussions.

  5. I’ve had a few comments published in the past (you can search for them), and others not published. Ive discussed it with the editor Deidre Boyd, who, I should say, has always been very nice, despite disagreements.

    Ultimately if a site editor considers views they dont like (even if expressed reasonably and politely) as unacceptable or trolling then theres not a great deal you can do about it except put your energies somewhere more productive (the Journal of GDP website also accpts comments – I dont know if they are moderated).

    A majority of reasonable comments may also be spoilt by a few shouty/rude ones – one of the drawbacks of a comment warrior type campaign. For a small site like AD, run by one person, that doesnt attract much comment anyway, going in mob handed may put them on the defensive.

  6. @Steve Rolles: I think the thing that I found most objectionable Steve is the way she directs readers to cannabisskunksense, that is frankly unacceptable.

    I have told her I respect her right to moderate comments, but she claims to be running a scientifically based website, respected for its objectivity. AT regularly shows a bias toward prohibition supporting views and promoting Cannabisskunoksense as a reliable information website makes a mockery of any claim to objectivity.

  7. I could scarcely believe that she claimed that lower rates of cannabis use in the Netherlands are because many municipalities do not support cafes. She also notes that Germany has lower rates of cannabis use but fails to point out the more tolerant drug policies there.

    (I wonder if you have read this interesting research on attitudes of dutch cannabis users to proposed changes to cannabis legislation there? I doubt that she has: http://encod.org/info/THE-RETURN-OF-THE-UNDERGROUND.html)

    She also tells us that rates of ‘treatment for cannabis’ are higher there, but fails to acknowledge that this could be because it is treated as a public health issue and not a criminal one. Moreover, she does not point out that the astonishingly low rates of new opiate and cocaine addiction in the Netherlands are also due to taking soft drug sales away from dealers who would push opiates etc.

    It is amazing how she tries to bend statistics to put forward a prohibitionist argument. Whilst she does point out that mental health problems have been linked to cannabis (rightly or wrongly depending on how one interprets the evidence), she still ignores the fact that we could be treating these people for their problems if the barriers to care produced by illegality did not exist.

    She generally interprets evidence poorly to produce a short sighted and long winded article which attempts to form a ‘leaky bucket’ argument for prohibition.

  8. Following Peter’s link to the Gyngell article I find discussions of cannabis smoking, for example Prof. Murrey says 10% of schizophrenia victims “would not have developed the illness if they had not smoked cannabis… (representing) 25,000 individuals whose lives have been ruined by cannabis.”

    Taking Prof. Murrey at his word and conceding the 25,000 cases with dreadful implications for families and society, let us now compare that with 100,000 DEATHS PER YEAR caused by advertising-induced $igarette addiction which could arguably (who will now step forward and so argue?) have been PREVENTED if teenagers had access to safe, governmentally inspected cannabis at prices competitive with present-day commercial tobacco $igarettes– i.e. an ounce costing about as much as two packs (= 40 $igarettes) which usually weigh 28 grams net. In our comparison let’s not forget to include the cost of the $igarettes (thousands a year), the cost of the Lipitor for the last decade or two of your life, etc.

    Gyngell also quotes Dame Shovelton on the costs of cannabis “smoking”– but the other shoe never dropped– nary a mention of (a) the option to use a vaporiser instead of smoking!! or (b) the fact that with a 25-mg single toke in a “one-hitter” you can vaporise almost as well as with more expensive equipment, thus there is no need to tolerate “smoking” (rolling) papers, 500-mg. overdose all in a few minutes, and a (proverbial) ton of carbon monoxide ingested each time one consumes cannabis.

    No reform equipment mentioned at all by Gyngell or her quoted authorities. The only time she mentions Harm Reduction it is done dismissively. Not a peep about if the skunk THC is too high, just serve a couple of 25-mg tokes instead of lighting up a 500-mg joint– and no mention in her entire article of the issue of in UK more than half the time a joint meaning admixture of ADMITTEDLY addictive tobacco (AAAT). I saw an estimate somewhere that 85% of all schizophrenics are $igarette addicts!

    Despite her conflict of interest disclaimer at the end Gyngell should be probed intensively to find hidden ways the tobacco $igarette corporations encourage or reward her work, because her warnings against youth access to cannabis protect THEIR interest in recruiting over 200,000 more young Brits yearly legally into Black Lung Nicotine $lavery, with medical consequences the Health Service taxpayer money will pay for.

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