Monday, November 02, 2009

Free the Weed - and pills

How funny it is to see Alan Johnson finding himself in a row all because he sacked a professor who expressed his view on the differing harmfulness of drugs. Johnson has even written a letter to the Guardian with some pretty hilarious of arguments.
Your leader on drugs policy (Shooting up the messenger, 31 October) is long on righteous indignation but short on logic.

Professor Nutt is indeed a reputable scientist whose views on drugs policy are well known. However, his role as my principal adviser was to (unsurprisingly) present advice. It is the job of the government to decide policy.

Professor Nutt was not sacked for his views, which I respect but disagree with (as does Professor Robin Murray, who wrote in your newspaper on Friday).

He was asked to go because he cannot be both a government adviser and a campaigner against government policy. This principle is well understood and long established.

As for his comments about horse riding being more dangerous than ecstasy, which you quote with such reverence, it is of course a political rather than a scientific point. There are not many kids in my constituency in danger of falling off a horse – there are thousands at risk of being sucked into a world of hopeless despair through drug addiction.

Alan Johnson MP
How odd, where is this "campaigning" he refers too? The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has as its remit the classification system, its role is to advise on the harmfulness of drugs in relation to classification. How can he be a campaigner when what he was talking about is what his role entails?

What Johnson is really saying is that if you don't agree with the entire flawed and half-arsed Government policy on drugs then you can't advise upon it.

As for equating the taking of ecstasy with a "world of hopeless despair", it's called ecstasy for a reason and it's got bugger all to do with despair and everything to do with gurning joy. The sooner the Government realises that the so-called "war on drugs" is an abject failure and start mass legalisation and proper regulatory control the better.

Take the organised criminal out of the drug market and let individuals decide what they do to their own body. We already do it with alcohol and tobacco and look at the harm they cause.

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