Posts filed under ‘Health policy’
A recent article in The Economist stirred up quite a discussion in the Net about the usefulness of the “War on Drugs”, or the efforts of the international community to stop the influx, distribution, and use of illicit drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The article presented a very pessimistic view of the issue, and suggested that we would be better off if we just gave up the fight and legalized the use of substances currently considered illicit. They argue that the war is costing us too much while producing no tangible results, and that the same amount of money could be better used to educate people about drugs and to treat additcts. Many bloggers, including Juniorprof, of all the people, have picked up on the subject, mostly supporting the article. Hell, even I, who have always been opposed to legalization of even soft drugs, thought for a moment “Hey, maybe they are right!”. But then after this brief moment of insanity, I came to my senses.
I used to cringe with disgust whenever I heard of the so called “underrepresented minorities”. I would get all red in the face, hyperventilate, and start ranting about how supporting these people is just reverse discrimination, how it is taking money away from the most meritorious and so on, and so forth. To hell with all political correctness! Now don’t get me wrong, I think that underprivileged members of the society deserve some degree of stimulus so that the ones with the most potential are not hindered in their dreams by their poverty and so that we can avoid a polarization of the society a la France on the eve of the Revolution. BUT, my reasoning so far has been that this stimulus should be applied on the basis of one’s financial status, NOT their ethnic background or the color of their skin. I have, however, been missing one important point…
No, I am not talking about Extenze here. I am talking about the OTHER, supposedly more important, erogenous zone – the brain. Nature has an uncanny tendency to talk about cognitive enhancement near the end of the year. In 2007 they ran a commentary by Barbara Sakhian and her colleague from Cambridge, and exactly a year later they publish another article by the same author and several coauthors from around the world and from multiple backgrounds. The latter piece was extensively discussed at the dedicated forum and so was the former over a year ago. Here’s my two cents on the issue: