Archive for April 5th, 2010

April 5th, 2010

There goes another one

Posted in The Job - General by 200

So another government drugs adviser quit last week. This time Eric Carlin resigned his position at the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs over the government’s knee-jerk reaction to ban legal high mephodrone. Hr becomes the seventh member to  leave the organisation since Professor David Nutt was sacked last October for disagreeing with the government’s propaganda on the dangers of ecstasy & cannabis.

To lose one advisor might be considered careless, to lose seven might just show how out of touch the government are with the actual experts in the field.

Mr Carlin has claimed that the government only banned mephodrone to look tough on drugs in the run-up to the election. He says that the Council’s decision to support the ban was rushed & “unduly based on media & political pressure“.

I have long criticised prohibition as a solution to anything & have advocated the legalisation of drugs. I agree with Mr Carlin’s assessment when he says : “We need to fundamentally re-frame this, and deal with it as a public health issue, not primarily as a criminal justice issue. There are more young people using illegal drugs now than ever did before, more young people drinking than ever did before. What we fundamentally need to do is get to the root causes of why is it that our 14, 15-year-olds are getting off their faces?”

Just days prior to Carlin’s resignation Dr Polly Taylor quit the ACMD for similar reasons. Recent other resignations include Dr Les King – part-time advisor to the Department of Health, senior chemist on ACMD, Marion Walker – clinical director of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s substance misuse service, Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s representative on ACMD, >Dr John Marsden – psychologist, Dr Ian Ragan – pharmaceutical consultant, & Dr Simon Campbell – synthetic organic chemist who received a CBE for services to science.

Mr Carlin’s resignation letter can be found on the BBC website.