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Medicine And The Media Medicine and the media

Science on a bad trip

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 22 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:547
  1. Colin Drummond, senior lecturer,
  2. Hamid Ghodse, professor
  1. department of psychiatry of addictive behaviour, St George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE

    Colin Drummond and Hamid Ghodse argue that Sacred Weeds, a TVF production for Channel 4 on 3 August, made for tedious and arguably irresponsible viewing

    Take two young men to a Gothic country house. Give them a dose of the poisonous mushroom, fly agaric (Amanita muscaria).Add a group of men in suits armed with state of the art scientific instruments and computers. Use camera effects reminiscent of the more impenetrable bits of Easy Rider.Broadcast their antics on national television in the guise of a serious scientific experiment. Sit back and think of the audience ratings.

    At best, the Sacred Weedsseries portrays psychopharmacology (the science of the effects of drugs on the mind) as a quaint hobby of the type that wealthy Victorian gentlemen with too much time on their hands might have engaged in. This is a long …

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