The Government has once again proved that its Policy on illegal drugs is in total disarray.
Professor David Nutt, who heads the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and is the government’s chief drug adviser has gone on record accusing ministers of ‘distorting‘ evidence with regards to cannabis to advance their cause.
According to Professor Nutt smoking cannabis presents only a “relatively small risk” of psychotic illness, and claimed those who advocated moving ecstasy into Class B from Class A had “won the intellectual argument”.
I am not a person to preach and I never will for the record I have never taken an illegal substance, never wanted to, never felt the need, never considered it but I have in my past lived with a drugs user whose resume skipped between class A, B and C and whilst the claim ‘nobody has ever died from smoking cannabis‘ may be true there are thousands of people who have lost their lives through drugs whereby the first step on the slippery slope was cannabis.
There are also countless lives wrecked by the selfishness of the drug user who may be prone to bouts of depression, schizophrenia or worse, suicidal tendencies.
Whilst it may be hard to argue with scientific evidence I suspect the family of Leah Betts would find it particulary hard to advocate the reclassification of ecstsay.
I believe the Government was right to reclassify cannabis last year back to class B but it should never have had to do it because it was simply wrong to drop the classification in the first place.
Making amends for your past mistakes does not earn you a merit, especially when the Government claimed it was the right thing to do at the time.
Professor Nutt further claimed
It may be that if you move a drug up a class it has a greater cachet..[the government's approach] “starts to distort the value of evidence
What kind of nonsense is that? There is simply no proof and therefore no place for statements like this to back up scientific research.
The former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith came in for some stark criticism when Professor Nutt stated that she had ‘devalued..scientific research‘ when she reclassified the drug.
What the Government needs to do is to either act on what an Advisory Council does or remove the Council altogether.
UPDATE: It would seem that Gordon Brown mistyped his URL this morning and instead of finding himself on LabourList he arrived with us at LabourLost.org – seemingly he acted on the line directly above whereby we suggest he listens or removes the council. Today the Government sacked Professor Nutt 24hrs after he provided the content for this blog post!