There may soon be a change in how the drug ‘ecstasy’ is classified in the UK.
(BBC News report).
Excluding for a moment the dealers and users of brain-altering substances, and the thousands of nurses, doctors, paramedics, EMTs, police officers, social workers, friends, families, teachers etc. who help ‘pick up the pieces’, the main groups concerned with the proposed change are:
● The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which is considering downgrading ecstasy from Class A (very dangerous) to Class B (rather dangerous).
● The Association of Chief Police Officers – they are warning that a downgrade would mislead people into thinking ecstasy is OK.
● The UK government, which has to decide to accept or reject the re-classification. (They recently moved cannabis up from Class C to Class B, against the Advisory Council’s wishes).
I believe I can offer a solution satisfying the police bosses, the government, and the drugs advisors (it will still, unfortunately, leave the dealers dealing and the users using, and the thousands of nurses, doctors, paramedics, EMTs, police officers, social workers, friends, families, teachers etc. picking up pieces, as before).
The people who decide how unhealthy each drug is just need to look at what was done with the grading of GCSE and A-level exams.
When it was realised that some candidates were simply too brilliant to only get an ‘A’ grade, they created the higher A* grade (spoken as 'A star') to mark out the sheer excellence of those students.
It appears from the Oxford Professor quoted in the BBC article that the issue at stake is "the relative damage associated with ecstasy compared with crack cocaine and heroin". In other words - ecstasy is bad for you, but heroin and crack cocaine are worse, so they can't all be Class A.
So, re-classify heroin and cocaine as A* drugs, and ecstasy can stay an ‘A'. That should:
● Satisfy the Chief Police Officers by emphasising the danger of the A* drugs, without making an ecstasy tablet look like a mug of cocoa at bedtime.
● Satisfy the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs by showing how ectasy is bad but not as bad as the A* substances.
● And satisfy the UK government - they won't have to make any further decisions, and the status-quo won't have changed too much.
Anyone from the Home Office reading this? Anyone reading this, for that matter? It's all just ideas.