Cohen, Peter (1990),
Cocaine and Cannabis. An identical policy for different drugs?. In: Peter
Cohen (1990), Drugs as a social construct. Dissertation. Amsterdam, Universiteit
van Amsterdam. pp. 15-31.
© Copyright 1990 Peter Cohen. All rights reserved.
III. Cocaine and Cannabis. An identical policy for different drugs? - Notes
- The text that follows was written in November 1985 for the Board of the Municipality of Amsterdam, after some members of this board had shown interest in a possible cocaine policy. I wrote the article as Adviser to the Board in drug policy matters. It was published as "Cocaine en Cannabis:een gelijk beleid voor verschillende drugs?" in Tijdschrift voor Criminologie, 1987(6), p. 244-268 in another-slightly enlarged-version.
- Both Ashley 1975 and Spotts and Shontz report the potential of cocaine to raise allergic effects with some people, in rare cases with lethal outcome.
- Cf Smart, C and Anglin, L: Do we know the lethal dose of cocaine? Jrnl of Forensic Sciences, Vol-32/2, 1987, p. 303-310 for the most recent overview of the available but highly inconclusive knowledge about the lethal dose of cocaine.
- I do not know of reports in which extremely high dosages of THC, the active alkaloid of cannabis, had resulted in death. I do not know if a lethal dosage of THC would be completely impossible. Since THC is not found in isolated and pure form on the consumer market for drugs I will in this text assume that lethal dosages of THC do not deserve mentioning.
- Drinking patterns may vary per class, per society, per historical period. The picture given here is what present middle class hard working Dutch people would find tolerable. A "reference drinking pattern" for 19th century Dutch harbour workers, or for present day Norway or Saudi Arabia would look quite different.
- If modern pharmacological research into cocaine would produce some evidence of the development of both tolerance and physiological dependence, cocaine and alcohol might end up having the same pharmacological risk value.