Sacked drugs advisor pledges new expert body
Reckons more resignations are to come
Professor David Nutt, sacked last week by Home Secretary Alan Johnson for disagreeing with government policy, is considering setting up a new drugs advisory body.
Quite how this would work, when the government seems unwilling to listen to the independent advice it is already being given, is not clear.
Nutt said the current Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is hopelessly flawed and needs redesigning. Nutt and two other senior scientists resigned from the ACMD and others are expected to follow next week.
The remaining members of the council are meeting Johnson next Tuesday. If progress is not made, Nutt expects more resignations, according to the Beeb. The scientists are expected to ask Johnson for written guarantees on the council's future role.
The prof also said he had been offered funding to pay for an independent advisory body. The ACMD costs £150,000 a year to run.
The problem for the government is that the ACMD is required by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. So the government may not need to listen to them but they do need to have them around.
In fact, as the Beeb notes, the ACMD is already in breach of its statute because its pharmacist, Marion Walker resigned after Nutt was sacked.
Nutt said that several projects had been put at risk by the departure of Les King from the ACMD, former head of drugs intelligence at the Forensic Science Service. These included work on artificial weed, sold under the brand Spice, research on polydrug use - which more closely reflects how drugs are used in the real world - and the effects of ketamine use on the bladder.
About the only people to have publicly supported Johnson's stance are the Tory Party.
Nutt said it was time Britain dealt with its real drug problem - booze. He told the BBC that if alcohol was created for the first time tomorrow it would quickly be outlawed. He said "The government has to wake up to this timebomb and the health risks of alcohol." ®
People should be trusted to do what they want
It's not the drugs or alcohol that are a problem. It's the people.
I always think alcohol and drugs show peoples true colours. Like the cannibis causes mental problems arguement, it don't, it just makes it worse for people who already have problems.
No UK Government is going to take the elective suicide of outlawing booze just yet, though cigarettes have now been successfully painted so nasty that the criminalisation of cigarettes is probably going to happen this century. Why else do you think the fag and booze companies are paying rediculous sums to get ex- and current MPs and Lords onto their boards?
As regards legitimising cannabis, the interesting bit is happening in the States. George Soros, who bankrolled the recent Democrat rise, has also spent years funding pro-drug groups. With Obumbler in his pocket, it's more than likely there will be some relaxation towards at least cannabis in the States inside Obumbler's current term. If the US opens up then Europe will probably follow a decade after. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find Dr Nutt's sudden financial health hasn't come from a Soros-related source.
Diagio and others won't let it happen
I did some research and found that many well known and influencial MP's (from both parties) are on the boards of big brewing and tobacco groups.
Guess what will happen if someone tries to make a change to licensing laws.