I would like to know what process is involved in justifying the prohibition and or control of a substance and how this varies from country to country.

For example, opiate based pain killers are a controlled substance, yet they are the most common form of pain killers used in hospitals, and the statistics regarding addiction and overdose are overwhelmingly negative, and I would think this would be justification for an inquiry into whether this choice is the best in regard to public health and safety, yet this practice seems to have not changed in decades.

In respect to prohibited substances, I have noticed that this prohibition is also not consistent with the actual danger to the public the substance poses, and even still, this prohibition has not been even remotely successful in preventing the illegal trafficking of these substances for the many decades over which they have been deemed illegal. This circumstance maintains their high prices for the end user, maximizing profit for organized crime syndicates, as well as employment in law enforcement. This has lead me to ask, could these syndicates have an intimate relationship with the public offices that have jurisdiction over these prohibition statuses?

  • This is an impossibly broad question: almost 200 countries, each with myriad quirks regarding "regulations" and statutes. In certain cases, The Leader declares a desired outcome and the legislative body does what they are told. Even explaining how regulations come into existence in the US is way too broad. If you want a political answer to the question of why Congress does not totally outlaw opiates, Politics SE is a possible venue. You might try Medical Sciences SE for information of medical aspects of opiates. – user6726 Sep 14 '19 at 0:14
  • Adam, please add a country tag, or say which country you are asking about. If you want a comparision of two countries then please add two tags. I've added Australia, based on your location on the profile page. – James K Sep 14 '19 at 6:17
  • @JamesK ok well I suppose home will do for now. – Adam Sep 14 '19 at 6:46
  • @user6726 yet the very same substances are the focus of law enforcement internationally that's quite an impossibly broad reality isn't it. – Adam Sep 14 '19 at 6:47

Advisors advise, minsters decide.

In Australia the goverment employs an advisory council "Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs" to provide it with advice on drug classification. The membership of the council consists mostly of experts in pharmocology, psychology and sociology, but is chaired by a politician (Kay Hull from the Nationals) It is precisely the job of the council to advise on the medical and social effects of a particular substance, and advise accordingly. Ministers then decide based on this advice and their political judgement.

Most opiates are classified including those used medically. Classification does not prevent their use in medicine. Opiates are used in medicine because they have proven effectivity at reducing pain. While it is hard to prove a negative, there is no evidence of significant mafia infiltration of the ANACAD or other parts of the Australian government.

  • Sure well mafia is a very general term to use, we should probably make note that this does not refer to a small group of Italian gentlemen as some may envisage. It's really my confusion as to why their addictive potential as well as fatality from overdose has seemingly been over looked, the price of opium in the free market will never be low unless it is permitted to grow it else where other than the middle east, it's really the strength of the desire of them I experienced when in hospital for a fortnight, the only thing that prevented me getting repeats is my inability to walk for months – Adam Sep 14 '19 at 6:44

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