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Drugs advice body needs scientists, say campaigners Watch

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    Campaigners have criticised government plans to remove the legal requirement for scientists to be on the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs.


    The proposal follows the sacking of top adviser Professor David Nutt last year, and seven other advisers' resignations amid complaints that politics rather than evidence was driving drug policy.


    The Drug Equality Alliance accused ministers of "seeking vengeance".
    The Home Office insisted scientific advice remained "absolutely critical"

    The proposals, in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, remove the requirement for the ACMD members to include a doctor, a dentist, a vet, a pharmacist, a drugs industry expert and a scientist from another branch of chemistry.


    BBC home editor Mark Easton said the proposed change had "received no publicity from the Home Office", but several groups had begun a campaign around the issue.


    The last Labour government sacked Prof Nutt as council chairman in October last year, after he criticised the decision to reclassify cannabis to Class B from C.
    He accused ministers of devaluing and distorting evidence and said drugs classification was being politicised.


    Darryl Bickler, of the Drug Equality Alliance, which campaigns for rational rather than subjective drug laws, accused the government of "reaping vengeance by sweeping away potential heretics that might seek to use evidence rather than tabloid hysteria to fulfil the need to be seen to be doing something".



    He added that the bill "would effectively emasculate and bypass" the ACMD.


    The Campaign for Science and Engineering suggested the government was "trying to take us back to the time of 'minister knows best'".


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11923644


    Oh come on... this can't be serious...



    This is an absolute joke... What next? We won't consult generals or admirals on military strategy? This is ****ing stupid... The whole board should be made up of scientists, doctors, surgeons, experts in the field etc


    I just cannot comprehend the logic in this decision...
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    Politicians are morons. They need clever scientists to help them :yes:
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    Cannabis will soon become Class A due to the moronic politics that drive these classifications :rolleyes:
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    Politicians typical. As for the generals comment it seems pretty clear our politicians do not want to listen to any one but themselves
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    Stupid, very stupid.

    I really hope they change their minds about this, there seems very little point to the decision.

    Or maybe they'll just name the Daily Mail as a replacement advisory body?!
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    Seems stupid to me as well - they may as well abolish the ACMD the way their going.
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    Whoopee, our drug policies are going to carry on being dictacted to by the tabloids instead of the people who actually can make an unbiased opinion..

    'We should listen to the scientists even when what they say is inconvenient'

    The problem has been in this country that politicians have only been listening to the scientists when it is convenient, and when tabloid media get on their back they pursue the short term fix. The irony is this announcement won't make a bit of difference, as now there will just be one less person in the room to ignore!
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    "Scientific advice is absolutely critical to the government's approach to drugs and any suggestion that we are moving away from it is absolutely not true. Removing the requirement on the Home Secretary to appoint to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs at least one person with experience in six specific areas will allow us greater flexibility in the expertise we are able to draw on. We want the ACMD to be adapted to best address the challenges posed by the accelerating pace of challenges in the drugs landscape."

    What *******s. What expertise are they hoping to draw on that they cant already? They can appoint whoever they like already as long as they have the six required experts. Is that really the best excuse they can come up with?
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    Politicians are arrogant dicks. Governments have neglected science when it comes to policy making for quite a while now, it's nothing new unfortunately.
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    Of course the drugs body needs input from scientists, it can't just rely on the personal beliefs of individual Tories (who probably all did drugs at Oxbridge anyway).
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      Scientists base their ideas on science instead of politics, which means that to a politician they come up with the "wrong" ideas. This change shouldn't happen silently, people need to realise what is going on here - the government is more concerned with doing the popular thing than with doing the right thing. :mad:
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      (Original post by CandyFlipper)
      Scientists base their ideas on science instead of politics, which means that to a politician they come up with the "wrong" ideas. This change shouldn't happen silently, people need to realise what is going on here - the government is more concerned with doing the popular thing than with doing the right thing. :mad:
      And what is the right thing?
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        (Original post by Teaddict)
        And what is the right thing?
        Changing the drugs classification system in the short term, in the way that scientists such as David Nutt advise. Longer term - legalise and regulate them all.
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        (Original post by CandyFlipper)
        Changing the drugs classification system in the short term, in the way that scientists such as David Nutt advise. Longer term - legalise and regulate them all.
        Or perhaps the right thing by the people in that they should remain illegal?
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        (Original post by Democracy)
        Of course the drugs body needs input from scientists, it can't just rely on the personal beliefs of individual Tories (who probably all did drugs at Oxbridge anyway).
        David Cameron was banned from leaving school grounds for 6 weeks before his GCSEs when he was caught smoking cannabis.
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        Not that it makes any difference anyway, they just ignore the scientists and sack people when they come up with results unfavourable towards party politics. Also this article may be of interest. If the statistics are right they suggest that more people have died due to the mephedrone ban than the drug itself...

        Everything needs to be legalised, it's not as if substances being "illegal" makes them disappear it just criminalizes users and causes deaths. Most heroin deaths are due to the inability of users to tell how strong the H they have is so alot of the time they may have an amount they think is there usual dose but actually many times stronger.. not to mention the impurities and improper administration/ use of needles that leads to so many complications.

        It seems though that until Scientific reports on drugs start including pictures of cheryl coles fanny and jordans tits the general public and government won't be rational in handling drugs.
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        (Original post by Cooljack)

        It seems though that until Scientific reports on drugs start including pictures of cheryl coles fanny and jordans tits the general public and government won't be rational in handling drugs.
        This. It seems examples like Portugal and Mexico - where legalisation is being used to combat disease/usage rates and crime (respectively) - are systematically ignored by the US (I think one us politician called Portuguese national statistics as unrepresentative?!?!), the UK and other governments throughout the world despite success, due to (IMO) a natural use of "morals" before science in an attempt to gain votes rather than aid society.
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        I don't suppose anyone knows of any articles on the speculative potential tax revenue and economic benefits of legalising cannabis? It would be interesting to see some figures.
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        Agree

        This isn't an isolated example. The 24 hour media culture is making it very difficult for senior public servants to act as scientists/experts rather than as politicians. Everything seems to be getting politicised, whether it is the police (elected police chiefs, worst idea ever), education or drugs policy.
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        Do the public not want to see experts advising on the policy?
       
       
       
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