Richard Paey Speaks
- An interview with the paraplegic man sentenced
to 25 years in prison for treating his own pain, but now out after a full pardon by the Florida Governor. [more inside]
"An open society must be prepared
to listen to those who offer a critique of its conventional wisdom—and our conventional wisdom about drugs and addiction should be no exception."
Spiritual Highs and Legal Blows
- the power and peril of religious exemptions from drug prohibition
"The system for classifying
illegal drugs in Britain, which determines
how users are punished, is unscientific and illogical and should be completely overhauled
", according to a new report
. See updated chart
on the harm potential of various drugs.
"In 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) distributed
a 38-question survey to 5,918 FDA scientists to examine the state of science at the FDA. The results
paint a picture of a troubled agency: hundreds of scientists reported significant interference with the FDA’s scientific work, compromising the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and safety."
So how's the War on Drugs proceeding in Afghanistan? Barry McCaffrey, former drug czar, trumpets
, "Opium production has been dramatically slashed by 48% just in the past year
.". Oops, actually that's the acreage of opium cultivation; production went down by only 10%
, due to increased yields. In any case, that's so last year
. Instead of the socially detrimental policy
of poppy eradication, wouldn't it be preferable
to allow licensing of poppies
for legitimate medical needs? The Afghan farmers agree
, but some think the idea is flawed
Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics
, has long posited
a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues
that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees
, of course.
Did the discovery of evolution lead to Darwin's agnosticism, as claimed
? Carl Zimmer wonders
. More importantly, can evolution be reconciled