Dette er tragisk, skremmende og idiotisk:
The Government’s drugs tsar was forced to resign last night for stating his view that cannabis, ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol.
The Home Secretary Alan Johnson asked Professor David Nutt to resign as chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), saying he had «lost confidence» in his ability to give impartial advice.
Professor Nutt had become a thorn in the side of ministers with his criticisms of drugs policy. He clashed with former home secretary Jacqui Smith when he suggested ecstasy, which causes 30 deaths a year, was less dangerous than horse-riding, which causes 100 deaths a year. He also argued that, to prevent one episode of schizophrenia linked to cannabis use, it would be necessary to «stop 5,000 men aged 20 to 25 from ever using» the drug.
Rådgiveren ble altså sparket for å ha sagt hva vitenskapelig forskning forteller oss om narkotika og dets faktisk farer – farer som i mange tilfeller er vesentlig lavere enn hva myndighetenes skremselspropaganda vil ha oss til å tro. Sannheten er nemlig at mange forbudte narkotikum er svært lite skadelige, og David Nutt ble spesielt upopulær etter et foredrag nylig hvor han påpekte det svært kunstige skillet mellom alkohol/tobakk og andre ulovlige rusmidler.
Nutts respons til oppsielsen var følgende sannhetsord:
My view is policy should be based on evidence. It’s a bit odd to make policy that goes in the face of evidence. The danger is they are misleading us. The scientific evidence is there: it’s in all the reports we published. Our judgements about the classification of drugs like cannabis and ecstasy have been based on a great deal of very detailed scientific appraisal.
Gordon Brown makes completely irrational statements about cannabis being ‘lethal’, which it is not. I’m not prepared to mislead the public about the harmfulness of drugs like cannabis and ecstasy. I think most scientists will see this as an example of the Luddite attitude of governments towards science.