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Why was David Nutt sacked?

November 2, 2009

Mark Easton’s article on the BBC news web site enlightened us somewhat on the controversy over what scientific advisors tell our government and what the government subsequently decides to do with that information.

For what it’s worth, I agree that cannabis is more harmful than tobacco or alcohol by any number of measures. I agree that government has ignored good advice in the past – and suffered for it.

However, if we extrapolate Mr Nutt’s advice, we should not only downgrade cannabis but we should reclassify tobacco and alcohol as illegal drugs. And that’s just not going to happen (for a very long time, at least) for many reasons; economic (employment, income and other taxes), social and historic.

What else damages the health of millions and puts a drain on the NHS as much as smoking?

Poor diet and lack of exercise? Lots of initiatives to improve these areas.

Fighting, gangs, drug wars, guns, knives? Again, big efforts in these areas.

Growing old? ……………..

I think we have to accept that all political decisions are (should be?) based on evidence and intelligent consideration of many other factors. That means that decisions can appear to be subjective and subject to good old human error, so some times they turn out, with hindsight, to have been wrong. And sometimes we, the public, fail to understand the reasoning behind these decisions. But that’s why we elect and pay politicians.

If enough people disagree with what they decide and if there are would-be politicians more likely to do what we want then we vote for a change. That’s democracy.

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