Monday, November 2, 2009

Nutt sacked

I'm sure the good doctor would agree that his career in government advising was not ended in vain, giving subs across the land a veritable pun-fest.

To be clear, our government has asked for some scientific advice, based on evidence, got an answer it didn't like, ignored it, and then sacked the bloke for repeating the evidence.

It is important that the Government's messages on drugs are clear and as an advisor you do nothing to undermine public understanding of them.

This phrase from the letter of dismissal, reproduced in full in the link above, is not impressive. The "advisors advise, ministers decide" division has existed since well before Sir Humphrey. The reality is that Prof. Nutt has been illuminating the understanding of the general public as to the Government's policy. There should not be anyone left under the misapprehension that the Government's position on drugs is a logical one based on scientific evidence.

By the way, cannabis is now pretty much legal in 13 states in the USA, including California (desperate for taxation income, obviously), with a further dozen or so to vote on the issue in the coming year.

And finally, just a little something to stick in the throats of all those suffering the effects of public sector spending cuts -- whether that's as a professional or as a "customer"; £161m down the swanny. I dread to think how many tins of biscuits and bags of tea that could have bought. Would have lasted me weeks.


  1. So, there we have it- The government sacks one of the only scientists who knows what he's talking about on drugs and go off on one reclassifting canabis. NICE, those guys into clinical exellence say some wonder cancer drug is too expensive, so then do one is going to get it on the NHS and as a consequence people are going to DIE, no two ways about it. On the other hand I can't recall anyone dying of canabis use. Seems just depends what end of the spectrum you come from as to whether the Ministers take any notice. So talking of cost- how is it we pour money into the Criminal System hand over fist for no great benefit half the time. You never hear anyone saying we can't afford to pay legal aid for repeat offenders and those pleading not guilty, electing trial and pleading at the last minute: in other words taking the piss. Why isn't something done about that.

    Isn't it time that the sentencing power in the Mags is raised to 2 or 3 years ( can't be any objection to that given youths can get up to 2 years now) and save a whole boat load of money in not having tpo prepare reams of paper no one reads, banging people up for weeks just to get to the crown court and get a community order anyway and stop the double recovery of fees by solicitor advocates failing to indicate pleas in the mags then as soon as they get to the crown court plead at the first time of asking and nobady bats a eye. but the poor taxpayer foots the bill.


  2. Sentencing power is already up to 12 months where there are 2 or more either-way offences on the charge sheet -- possession of cannabis is an either-way offence. No reason to think why it wouldn't be increased in the future, especially in the current economic climate. I have to say, there are arguments against that, although this isn't the place to rehash them in full. No hash-based pun intended.