Seven experts in the Drugs field who the Government should listen to
Unless you have been in a K-hole for the last few weeks you can’t have missed the debate going on around drug policy and the rising call from experts and other unexpected places (The People!) for a sensible review at the very least. Bless the Government, they have issued a consultation document so we can all put our oar in and tell them what we think should happen. Of course this will be a placating measure if recent events are anything to go by and to quote my own tweet…
Unfortunately it seems some of the ‘general public’, spurred on by misinformation in the media think that anyone working in the drugs field must be crazy (remember all the puns on Professor Nutt’s name?) or be drug crazy fiends who just want all drugs to be legalised so we can all get wasted.
This is not the case. These are seven (of the many) people who know what they are on about. The Government should listen to them either because they are qualified to or because they have an understanding of the real issues and first and foremost want to ensure our drug policy keeps everyone as safe as possible, preferably alive and with their freedom in tact. Our current drug policy and ‘War on Drugs’ has failed and will continue to if big changes are not made. Changes that can only happen if they start taking heed of the experts.
1) PROFESSOR David Nutt
In a Nuttshell (sorry), he is THE man. He actually had the balls to stand up to the Government last year after they sacked him as Chairman for the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) for amongst other things, dedicating his time to scientific research and telling the truth. Politicians can’t handle the truth apparently. If they told the truth about drugs they would lose votes (and therefore their duck houses, fifth homes, and their partners would have to pay for their own porn).
He’s now set up the Independent Scientific Committee On Drugs, members of which include other resigned members of the ACMD, others who were rightly disgruntled by the Government ignoring their advice. Incidentally the Government has a legal obligation to consult with the ACMD on any changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act to ensure decisions are based on scientific research and not just tabloid and middle England kowtowing.You can see the other current new commitee members here which demonstrates the level of experience they have.
2) SIR Ian Gilmore
Outgoing PRESIDENT of the Royal College of Physicians who last week rightly said of drugs…
..we should be treating it as a health issue rather than criminalising people…This could drastically reduce crime and improve health…
Unfortunately as predicted…
3) Eric Carlin
Another former member of the ACMD who resigned in April of this year who has been part of great work taking into account the needs of disadvantaged young people.
You can read his blog here which includes his resignation letter citing many reasons including…
I have now decided that I cannot continue to sit on a committee which is complicit in taking part in processes which are not only illogical in many ways but which also, by enabling the criminalisation of ever greater numbers of young people who require support rather than punishment, may even do more harm than good.
Also check his recent blogpost…
4) Angus MacQueen
A documentary maker whose three part documentary series Our Drugs War was recently aired on Channel 4 and essential viewing.
This is well worth a read…
…as is this, the Live Chat that took place straight after the third epidode was aired…
5) Duncan Stott
Self titles himself on Twitter as ‘One of those liberal fascists you read about in the Daily Mail’.
After the Angus MacQueen’s documentaries he wrote this brilliant blogpost…
For those of you that like more stats based evidence this is worth a read for lovely numbers like these….
a paltry 1% of heroin is successfully seized by UK authorities. The UN estimate that to have a significant impact on the drug trade this needs to be raised to at least 60%.
The UN estimate that to have a significant impact on the drug trade this needs to be raised to at least 60%.
Lets combine this with the current annual £1.5 billion budget the UK government spends on drug law enforcement.
So to get to 60% heroin seizure, the budget for drug law enforcement needs to be raised to £90 billion. This would make drug enforcement about the same size as the NHS, and would mean an extra £1,500 in tax per head every year.
You get the point?
6) Andrew M Brown
A more recent addition to my people radar. Recognising that Drug addiction is much more complicated than just the drug that is being used and addressing the fact that if other things aren’t put in place for ‘problematic users’ they won’t have a reason to get better.
and most importantly…
7) Stacey Smith (that’s me!)
I shouldn’t need to explain really, everything I say is right, full stop, haha.
Thanks for reading, it was a long one!
Posted on August 25, 2010, in Drugs and Alcohol, Seven... and tagged Andrew Brown, Angus MacQueen, Decriminalisation, Drug Policy, Drugs, Duncan Stott, Eric Carlin, Government, Home Office, Professor Nutt, Sir Ian Gilmore. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.