Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Time Magazine: The Drug War Is Blocking Cancer, Alzheimer's Treatments

By David Downs
Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Kudos to Time magazine for leading the pack of mainstream journalists questioning why politics trumps science in drug policy. Friday, Time's excellent Maia Szalavitz posted that "potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and many other illnesses are being blocked by anti-drug laws."

That opinion comes from a new editorial review published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, wherein lead author David Nutt — chair of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London — and his colleagues argue the drug war is "hindering progress in neuroscience and deterring drug companies from pursuing important leads in major disorders affecting millions of patients."

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"Comparing the harm to science to that done by the Catholic Church in banning the works of Gallileo and Copernicus, Nutt says, 'People have not even realized how much research and how many possible new treatments have been blocked by drug laws.'

It's easier to study heroin or LSD than cannabis, even though studies show the benign plant could treat Alzheimer's, diabetes, and PTSD.

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