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It is somewhat disconcerting to see the advice given by the recent
International Narcotics Control Board report  advocating a generic ban
to control substances used to create designer drugs. These recommendations
seem to be lacking a robust scientific evidence base and instead mirror
the panicked response seen also in April last year to ban the synthetic
stimulant mephedrone despite a paucity of evidence regarding its ill
The advice is given alongside the affirmation of increasing cocaine
trafficking and use throughout Europe . This should perhaps serve as a
pertinent example of why simply banning a substance does not always
guarantee control its use.
Rigorous scientific research and not impulsive prohibition is
required to inform drug policy decisions. Otherwise we are liable to group
substances with vastly different risk profiles together, leading us to
lose focus on the drugs, such as cocaine, proven to cause significant
morbidity and deserving of our greater attention.