They had ingested an experimental drug on synthetic cannabinoids and ended up in hospital. There were six of them: one of them died, the other ones are in critical conditions at the Hospital University of Rennes in Brittany. The incident happened at the end of last week, the same day when in Italy was approved the decriminalization of the violations of procedures for the cultivation of therapeutic cannabis. After all, these two facts deal with the same substance. Of course, there is a huge difference between natural and synthetic cannabis, but laboratory experiments and genetic modifications on plants and cannabinoids are becoming more and more dangerous, much more than they were in the ’70s.
What does not change, however, it is the “doped” information people perceive which concerns the matter. We go on with slogans, often topped with strong ideological accents, but nobody studies the evidence. Whereas we may argue about the cultural implications of the normalization of drugs, but as far as the effects of cannabis on the human prefrontal cortex are concerned, there is nothing to talk about. Suffice it to look at what happens in the brain: receptors that transmit information for decision making are switched off, our ability of discernment is inhibited. Talking about therapy is quite different from conveying the concept that they it can be “do it yourself”, authorizing something that becomes almost impossible to check on a legal level.
What we do not have to approve is the “normalization” of drug use, because if we do not sweeten the pill, that is what we are talking about. We have to tell young people that drugs hurt, that it is a dangerous tunnel, with many steps on which you can slip and touch rock bottom. The assumption that cannabis cannot kill is not true: first of all, because most car crashes accidents due to driving under the influence of drugs cause grief; it does not kill directly, but it often does so indirectly; secondly, because the mutations in the production of this substance are making it more and more similar to “heavy” drugs, with important – sometimes immediate – clinical consequences.
The battle against the use of drugs should be done through proper information, starting from families and schools, and we should not stop because a law scores a point in favor of legalization. More than that, we must strengthen our moral attention exactly when laws show points of weakness.