Tag Archives: Professor David Nutt

Was Reclassifying Cannabis to Class B a Dumb Move?

jacqui smithIt’s emerged recently that Jacqui Smith, a former Home Secretary under the Labour Government, has admitted that her decision to upgrade cannabis to a Class B drug in 2008, was wrong.

Despite evidence from the Government’s panel of scientific experts at the time stating that this change in classification would not stop people from smoking the drug, Mrs Smith and the Labour Goverment forced through a hardline move to upgrade cannabis from a Class C drug to a Class B.

In the Radio Times interview she stated “Knowing what I know now, I would resist the temptation to resort to the law to tackle the harm from cannabis. Education, treatment and information, if we can get the message through, are perhaps a lot more effective.”

Also of note is that during 2008, Professor David Nutt was her most senior scientific advisor at that time…but they never met! This has changed now though, as the pair met when making a programme called Stoned Again‘ for BBC Radio 5 Live, which is due to be broadcast this Thursday at 10pm. Professor Nutt admitted he remained unimpressed with the former MP.

This should be an interesting debate and I’ll definitely be tuning in.

Coffee Shops in the UK?

Professor David Nutt is in the news again, and once again he is talking very sensibly and rationally about potentially opening Amsterdam-style coffee shops in the UK; which would, he theorizes, reduce the consumption of alcohol by as much as 25%. Surely this can only be a good idea for all concerned:

  • There will be a legal outlet for smokers of the herb to go and buy whatever variety of weed they want, smoke without fear of arrest, and socialise with their friends.
  • The black market trade in selling cannabis would be a thing of the past if these coffee shops start up here.
  • alcohol-related fights and unsociable behaviour would be dramatically reduced (how many stoners have you seen starting a fight?!).
  • And of course as these coffee shops would be regulated the government would be able to have another steady tax revenue stream coming in.

This is not to mention the dramatic reduction in the cost of policing. In the article, which is reported on The Guardian website, Prof Nutt mentions that the cost of policing cannabis is only £500m per year, compared to a mind-boggling £6bn a year to police alcohol. The maths is very simple, however it would appear that yet again the goverment and Daily Mail readers refuse to even listen to this very sensible chap.