Monday, February 04, 2008

Rational scale of harmfulness of various substances, licit and otherwise

Though advocates of decriminalization tend to gloss over any real harm done by intoxication and addiction, proponents of continued criminalization often conflate the physiological actions of all the illicit substances with heroine. Here's a graphic presenting the "harm" versus "dependence" for a variety of drugs of abuse. The colors aren't helpful, but the legal substances are: khat, solvents, alcohol, and tobacco.
The linked article details the way in which harm and dependence were assessed; the graph is someone else's representation of the data presented in the article, whihc is too bad, because I'd like to know the scale of the axes.

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