Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nutt job

Ah, yet another expert gets the chop for saying what anyone with a real clue already knows; that cannabis is far less harmful than cigarettes and alcohol. Among those with genuine integrity and decidedly less ignorance than the average punter, the 'drug debate' has become a source of perpetual tedium as the official spokesmen teeter between poorly thought out smokescreens and cynically submerged detail.

I am on my own experiment with marijuana: I'm not smoking it. For three months. Go ahead, 'social' drinkers and ciggy-break takers; binge eaters and pill poppers, put your money where your mouth is and prove you can do the same.

Thought not.


Now that's off my chest, we return to normal programming. I can understand why British PM Gordon Brown dismissed his scientific advisor, Professor David Nutt, for stating that marijuana should not have been reclassified from a Class C to a Class B drug. Not because he [Brown] was correct to do so, nor because it deserves to be so, but because he is fighting for his political life and playing to the peanut gallery - the kind of people who think the War on Drugs has value - is one more desperate effort to keep his job.

I am intrigued to see that Professor Nutt has also classed ecstasy and LSD as being less harmful than the legal mainstays. I imagine this may be worked out on a per capita basis, and the effect these substances have on the majority being of sound mind. Though I have to say, the mentally defective are going to have problems with medication of any description; it's the nature of the illness. 'What do we take them off, what do we put them on?' is a question for health professionals, not a factor in determining drugs policy.

Infringing on people's right to self-medicate, and to open the doors of perception, is not the only area where government engages in perpetual policy on the run, of course. Expediency rules. As long as the tabloids can sensationalise the issue and the politicians can make capital out of being tough, little will change.


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