Saturday, 31 October 2009

Evidence Based Drug Policy, or "La la la, I can't hear you!"

Professor David Nutt, a government drug policy advisor, has been 'asked to step down' following a terrible incident in which he advised the government on drugs policy.

Nutt published a piece of research (for some reason this isn't linked in either the Guardian or the BBC article.. could they not find it? Or is citing your sources frowned upon in newspaper reports?) stating (among other things) that alcohol is more harmful than cannabis, LSD or Ecstasy.

According to a letter from Alan Johnson to Nutt, this research could lead to a 'confusion between scientific advice and policy' and Nutt was asked to step down. Wait. Let's read that sentence again. 'confusion between scientific advice and policy'. What? Surely if your policy disagrees with the scientific advice, it's time to change your policy? This truly is politics at its worst.

At least Nutt isn't going quietly. Hopefully this will stir up some actual debate. Maybe people will even realise quite how ridiculous the current policy is.

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