Flakka, hyperbole, yellow journalism and feeding the nanny states failed “war on drugs”

“Tales of superhuman strength have been associated with various drugs over the years, including cocaine in the early 1900s, marijuana in the 1920s and ’30s, and PCP (a.k.a. angel dust) in the 1970s and ’80s. “The notion that drugs produce superhuman strength is simply not true,” says Columbia University neuropsychopharmacologist Carl Hart, who studies the effects of stimulants such as crack cocaine and methamphetamine. “It has never been shown. This is just a continuation of the theme. It should raise red flags for people if they see ‘superhuman strength.

Hart notes that people who drink too much may become ‘out of control or difficult to manage,’ but ‘you can’t say [someone has] superhuman strength with alcohol because no one will believe you.’ Similarly, ‘you can no longer make up those stories about marijuana, because there are many people in our society who have used marijuana, so if you say that, you instantly lose credibility with all of those people.’ By contrast, ‘you can say it with these new synthetic drugs because people don’t know what these drugs are. And if they don’t know, maybe it’s true. They want to believe it. It’s a great story.’

The reality is less exciting. ‘When you look at the effects of cathinones in the laboratory,’ Hart says, ‘they just look like any other stimulant.’ While the agitation and paranoid delusions described in stories about flakka might be seen in some people at high doses, he says, ‘that’s a rare sort of thing,’ and the bizarre behavior may be due to other factors, such as sleep deprivation or pre-existing psychological problems. Potentially fatal reactions such as heart attacks and hyperthermia likewise are ‘possible in limited and extreme situations,’ he says, but ‘unlikely.'”

(Via.) Reason.com <—Read more here

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