Skip to main content

An interview with pharmacologist David Kroll

Interesting throughout:
My primary research field is cancer drugs, but my teaching brings me into the realm of drugs of abuse, simply because so many of those drugs are naturally-occurring. So, my views must be taken in that perspective. In the US, I think that it is morally difficult to justify the legality of addictive drugs like alcohol and tobacco while restricting other psychoactive compounds. I do not advocate for other drugs to be used recreationally. I just feel that US laws need to be consistent. Our experiment with criminalizing alcohol was an abysmal failure that fostered organized crime. Our continued experiment with criminalizing other drugs has been equally a failure. However, I am very much against a libertarian argument that society should be free to determine what they want because, frankly, many drugs impair one's decision-making ability.

But I like your question: many drugs declared illegal for recreational use are among the most useful therapeutics for pain, especially the pain associated with surgery and cancer. My greater humanistic concern is that our society's zero tolerance approach to drugs that "could" be illegal is that people who need them for their desired effect often go without. Undermanagement of pain is the major casualty of the war on drugs. No, let me fix that. People who suffer unnecessarily from pain when useful drugs could be used are the major casualties of the war on drugs.


Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Reality Winner Leak to the Intercept?

So Reality Winner, former NSA contractor, is in federal prison for leaking classified information — for five years and three months, the longest sentence of any whistleblower in history. She gave documents on how Russia had attempted to hack vendors of election machinery and software to The Intercept , which completely bungled basic security procedures (according to a recent New York Times piece from Ben Smith, the main fault lay with Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito ), leading to her capture within hours. Winner recently contracted COVID-19 in prison, and is reportedly suffering some lingering aftereffects. Glenn Greenwald has been furiously denying that he had anything at all to do with the Winner clusterfuck, and I recently got in an argument with him about it on Twitter. I read a New York story about Winner, which clearly implies that she was listening to the Intercepted podcast of March 22, 2017 , where Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill expressed skepticism about Russia actually b

On Refusing to Vote for Bloomberg

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg is attempting to buy the Democratic nomination. With something like $400 million in personal spending so far, that much is clear — and it appears to be working at least somewhat well, as he is nearing second place in national polls. I would guess that he will quickly into diminishing returns, but on the other hand spending on this level is totally unprecedented. At this burn rate he could easily spend more than the entire 2016 presidential election cost both parties before the primary is over. I published a piece today outlining why I would not vote for Bloomberg against Trump (I would vote for Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, or Biden), even though I live in a swing state. This got a lot of "vote blue no matter who" people riled up . They scolded me and demanded that I pre-commit to voting for Bloomberg should he win the nomination. The argument as I understand it is to try to make it as likely as possible that whatever Democrat wins t

Varanus albigularis albigularis

That is the Latin name for the white-throated monitor lizard , a large reptile native to southern Africa that can grow up to two meters long (see pictures of one at the Oakland Zoo here ). In Setswana, it's called a "gopane." I saw one of these in my village yesterday on the way back from my run. Some kids from school found it in the riverbed and tortured it to death, stabbing out its eyes, cutting off its tail, and gutting it which finally killed it. It seemed to be a female as there were a bunch of round white things I can only imagine were eggs amongst the guts. I only arrived after it was already dead, but they described what had happened with much hilarity and re-enactment. When I asked why they killed it, they said it was because it would eat their chickens and eggs, which is probably true, and because it sucks blood from people, which is completely ridiculous. It might bite a person, but not unless threatened. It seems roughly the same as killing wolves tha