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Another ACMD member threatens to quit

Mark Easton | 18:11 UK time, Thursday, 20 January 2011

The "Just Say No" drugs lobby will be much cheered, I suspect, by the appointment of Dr Hans-Christian Raabe to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

Screengrab of ACMP webpage


He has long argued that the committee has been dominated by "groups and organisations that promote 'liberal' drug policy or may even support the legalisation of drugs".

However, I understand that at least one member of the council is so incensed by the appointment that he is considering resigning. The Home Office, which prompted seven resignations when it sacked ACMD chair Professor David Nutt, might find itself facing yet more as it tries to replace those who have gone.

Dr Raabe could certainly not be dismissed as soft on the issue of drugs. He has argued that "it is futile to pursue discredited policies of so-called 'harm-reduction' and vital that the government and the nation are totally committed to the ideal of a drug-free society." But it is his less his views on narcotics and more his opinions on homosexuality that are causing fury.

In 2009 he stood as MEP candidate in the North West region for the Christian Party/Christian Peoples Alliance Party and is a leading light in the Manchester-based Maranatha Community which is dedicated to "re-establishing Christian values in society". It is an organisation with very strong anti-gay views and has briefed MPs against measures for homosexual rights.

One member of the ACMD told me this afternoon:

"The Council prides itself on basing its views on evidence. This man put his name to documents which include very questionable views... His appointment makes me extremely uncomfortable."

Dr Raabe is said to be on holiday this week and was unavailable for comment. His appointment to the ACMD would seem to reflect a determination within government that this key advisory body should include voices from outside the drugs establishment.

A few years ago Dr Raabe helped write a pamphlet entitled A Warning Cry to the People of Great Britain in which the Maranatha Community warned that drug problems were part of a "morally self-destructive society". He has also urged health officials to consider drug-prevention schemes that involve spirituality.

"From a Christian standpoint we are concerned that the issue of drug misuse is frequently focused only on the physical and perhaps also the emotional aspects of drug misuse, ignoring the spiritual dimension", Dr Raabe's organisation has stated, adding that, "consideration, encouragement and support should be given to the established track records of many Christian help groups and drug treatment centres."

The Maranatha's approach is at odds with much current policy. It argues that "harm-reduction accommodates and normalises, rather than prevents, drug misuse" and the organisation has been very critical of educational material teaching young people about safe drug use.

"This is a contradiction in itself, since there are no safe ways of taking drugs. This type of educational material encourages rather than discourages drug misuse. It should not be used in schools or in any health education context."

Such views could lead to some frosty moments inside the ACMD committee room. Existing members of the council are avowed "harm-reductionists" and regard Dr Raabe's appointment as provocative. But I am informed that more than one member of the committee is gay or lesbian and it is his views on homosexuality which may lead to an ACMD member quitting.


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  • 1. At 6:54pm on 20 Jan 2011, jon112dk wrote:

    So the committee has been 'doctored' to suit tory policies and may well start recommending tough action against drugs.

    Previously, posters on here have taken the view that the politicians should immediately carry out any and all recommendations from the committee.

    Will people still be calling for automatic obediance?

    I stick by my original position: 'experts' advise, politicians make the final decision.

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  • 2. At 7:37pm on 20 Jan 2011, L A Odicean wrote:

    This Raabe chap seems like bad news for all those who hoped that the legalisation of all currently illegal substances was on the distant horizon. Surely legalisation and licensing would be the sensible path to a reduction in the huge amount of criminal activity linked to the supply and consumption of drugs. How do stupid bigoted people worm their way into such influential jobs? It really is a disgrace.

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  • 3. At 8:31pm on 20 Jan 2011, smallvizier wrote:

    The committee *should* contain people from a variety of walks of life, with a broad range of perspectives and views. If all of those people can agree upon a policy, it is a much sounder recommendation than getting a lot of like-minded academics in a room and watching them reach a like-minded academic solution.

    I am disappointed that this appointment in particular seems to be a provocative one, of a person who seems unlikely to work well with his new colleagues (which should be test #1 for any job!).

    But I encourage the idea that only about half the members should be mainstream scientists. The others should be respected businessmen, councillors, clergy, teachers... in short community leaders of all stripes.

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  • 4. At 9:46pm on 20 Jan 2011, tarquin wrote:

    What exactly does he bring to the table? From what I read he is a GP, not a scientist or academic

    I wouldn't normally mind, there are police and community workers on there, but he's clearly coming in with a range of subjective 'moral' opinions and will have no time for the use of the scientific principle

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  • 5. At 9:47pm on 20 Jan 2011, Country Jane wrote:

    Its time that hard radical action be taken against all drug trafficking. Drugs of the streets should help in reducing the crime rate. However this can only be achieved should drugs be available for user's from official sources. These would have to be policed under strict supervision.

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  • 6. At 9:59pm on 20 Jan 2011, oldcynical wrote:

    The Drug Dealers will be rubbing their hands with glee one wonders how high up the political spectrum their influence is,Legal drug control could be the answer at this time but control is in the hands of the barons look where it has got Mexico

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  • 7. At 10:06pm on 20 Jan 2011, DontTrustTheGovernment wrote:

    So it's back to moralising and to hell with evidence and harm reduction - brilliant. How can someone who belongs to an organisation that holds such bigoted views about homosexuality be given a voice on such an important body as the ACMD? Are we going to start teaching creationism in state schools next. This is a step in the wrong direction and if the other members of the ACMD had any principles they would all resign with immediate effect.

    Legalise, regulate and educate - any other way is prolonging the current madness.

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  • 8. At 10:11pm on 20 Jan 2011, Mark Wild wrote:

    Mr. Raabs seems to believe in an utopian society, in which nobody takes drugs. If "any type of educational material encourages rather than discourages drug misuse", then why do some people encourage drug-testing at the workplace? This marijuana testing might, in this twisted logic, make people more aware about drug taking and they might be tempted to try them once or twice, just to see how they work...
    Look for example at this site, where there are some people who argue that drug testing is an industry:
    Do you know how much money is made per year to drug testing suppliers? It's all apart of The War On Drugs. A lot of industries make billions per year from marijuana being illegal.
    So, why are some bigots so interested in making drugs illegal?

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  • 9. At 10:16pm on 20 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    In a couple of months the LCA will be re registering as a political party to bring truth to the government.
    Also how can the head of the ACMD also sit on the British medical cannabis register? while speaking on bringing pharmaceutical cannabis back to the medicine cabinet.

    This is just another embarrassing episode for James Broken Britain who insists cannabis has no medical value while everyone around him campaign to have it medicalised as a safe alternative to many drugs that now have more side effects for the person under treatment than therapeutic values.

    Legal controlled drugs are the only way forward, as for saying a Christian society does not need drugs. Think again the entirety of the christian religion revolves around the use of 1 plant in particular, one that made the holy oil one that made medicines for the locals provided food and fishing nets clothing etc. All historical facts free from the interpretation of moral values of the individual. Also within a Christian society we would not be punishing the sick with prison for using a plant that is natural to the human body.

    Which makes James very unchristian.

    To have a drug free Britain you will need to use genocide against all drug users of both prescribed and street drugs as one leads to the other in a never ending circle.

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  • 10. At 10:26pm on 20 Jan 2011, DontTrustTheGovernment wrote:

    If Dr Raabe believes he will ever see a 'drug free' society he is obviously delusional. People who live their lives according to a faith and who wish to 'force' that way of life on other people are dangerous to a free society, just as dangerous as the criminal cartels who currently run the illicit drug trade. This is like giving a creationist the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge University.

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  • 11. At 11:31pm on 20 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Linking this into another story of opinions sheds light on values of people.
    Muslim prejudice is normal. As normal as drug prejudice, Im sure if I wrote to the baroness asking her to help and support the medical cannabis users of the UK that i would receive some rhetoric about the harms cannabis does to society and how it can never be a part of british society because of its dangerous effects on the minds of our youth.
    The same tiny percentage of people that in turn within the muslim acceptance story would be the radicalised few that bring about the problems the Baroness is currently asking for help with. Infact I think i will write and ask her that very same question.

    Is it right to discriminate against a majority for the actions of a minority within that majority, through established cultural beliefs? Then she can answer her question herself on her muslim acceptance problem without waisting tax payers money with an public consultation.

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  • 12. At 11:49pm on 20 Jan 2011, Breck wrote:

    In the developed world, countries with higher levels of religiosity tend to have higher levels of drug abuse too. I am not suggesting that one leads to the other, but this fact is incompatible with the idea that religion can be used in reducing drug abuse.

    A more feasible explanation is that the harshness of life in certain countries, perhaps caused by greater inequality, makes people turn to drugs or religion. They have less control over their lives, and so relinquish control to drugs or to a higher power - to opium or the opium of the people.

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  • 13. At 00:38am on 21 Jan 2011, Peter Reynolds wrote:

    The government's drug policy is in utter chaos. It is based on ministers' opinions and prejudices rather than facts and evidence. It is costing Britain billions in wasted resources, ruined lives and social division. It is a financial and social catastrophe.

    Very shortly, the Home Office has to make a decision on the re-scheduling of Sativex, the cannabis drug. It either has to admit that its position on cannabis for the last 30 years has been wrong or it has to pursue further deception. This is a crucial test for the integrity and honesty of ministers and is a microcosm of the whole area of drug policy.

    Politicians have failed us time after time. Their approach to drugs policy is irrational, hysterical and always more concerned with their short term political advantage than the health of the nation. It has to change.

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  • 14. At 01:28am on 21 Jan 2011, seanthenoisemaker wrote:

    As someone who got to know the drugs market intimately, I can confirm the truth in what poster # 6 states above. That is to say, the harsher the penalties for drug trafficking, the more money there is to be made as prices can go up according to the risks perceived to be being taken by those involved in trafficking and distribution. Higher potential profits means more internal market conflict too. Cannabis prices have doubled, with demand continuing to rise, as it has done since the halcyon days of New Labour, class C and Brian Paddick's successful but politically unacceptable experiment in disinterest in Brixton. Has being tougher on drugs achieved any aims whatsoever? It's a win-win as far as a political strategy goes, but it's actually a lose-lose situation for society.

    Cannabis is not harmless, but keeping it illegal causes more harm and higher rates of usage than would otherwise be the case. The Netherlands has the lowest rate of usage in Europe's essentially legal, and usage makes no kind of political statement. Here, because it is illegal, it becomes a badge of honour amongst politically radical types, which means we lose out on their potential contribution later in life because their reputation can never recover from the media's stigmatic representation of the cannabis user. I suspect that keeping cannabis illegal is a way of keeping a certain type of person out of mainstream society. It is discriminatory, it's arrogant, it's pitiless, and represents the tip of the iceberg as far as how strategically fragmented society has become. It causes pain to millions of people, it costs untold millions in legal costs and lost financial contributions. What are the advantages of keeping it illegal? It doesn't stop people using it. It doesn't prevent a fully functioning marketplace surviving and flourishing, I have witnessed that much!

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  • 15. At 08:19am on 21 Jan 2011, DontTrustTheGovernment wrote:

    Wasn't it Einstein who said that the definition of madness is repeating the same mistake over and over again. That is the UK's drugs policy in a nutshell.

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  • 16. At 09:37am on 21 Jan 2011, watriler wrote:

    Seems like a stupid decision. Surely the government could have found an obedient expert with rather less moral and political baggage.

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  • 17. At 09:59am on 21 Jan 2011, James wrote:

    I agree the ACMD should have people on it from varying backgrounds in order to provide differing views, but should those people not be experts in a related field (neuropsychology,(psycho)pharmacology)? What is the use of having someone who quite clearly seeks to alienate drug (mis) users because he considers them to be of lower morality? It's like inviting a caveman to sit on a body which advises nuclear policy! It's hardly going to promote an open, intelligent debate is it?

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  • 18. At 11:15am on 21 Jan 2011, calmandhope wrote:

    This sounds like it has car crash wrote all over it....

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  • 19. At 11:44am on 21 Jan 2011, chrisasmith777 wrote:

    Member of a Christianist cult with completely irrational beliefs ?

    That's certain to detract from the already shattered integrity of the ACMD. But then I suppose that's just what the IDS faction wants to see.

    I'm surprised they don't appoint Peter Hitchens or Melanie Phillips.

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  • 20. At 11:51am on 21 Jan 2011, foxyeric wrote:

    Yet again behind the doors we see that very right wing policies are being pursued. these policies will only divide the country even more so just like in America!

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  • 21. At 11:55am on 21 Jan 2011, marybrett wrote:

    Since 'existing members of the council are harm-reductionists' the appointment of a preventionist is long overdue. It is a start to bringing some balance to this committee.

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  • 22. At 12:34pm on 21 Jan 2011, Portman wrote:

    He believes it vital to commit to the idea of a drug free society. This fantasy lies at the heart of the failure to address the real issues that surround drug usage, legal and illegal. This fantasy kills our children with the stranglehold it places on the development of an effective drug policy. It is doubtful that such a thing has ever existed in the history of humanity. His views on other things are objectionable but irrelevant. His views on drugs make him innapropriate for this role. It is an appalling appointment.

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  • 23. At 12:58pm on 21 Jan 2011, TheRealImpostor wrote:

    ACMD: Advisory Council on the Manipulation of Dogma

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  • 24. At 1:07pm on 21 Jan 2011, wozearly wrote:

    #21 marybrett

    Personally, I don't feel that's a relevant way to frame the issue. The purpose of the AMCD is to bring an independent, evidence-based scientific viewpoint to the discussion.

    If Raabe's views on drugs are evidence-driven and amoral, then its no problem at all - but there are concerns raised that his views are being driven primarily from a moral standpoint.

    It would be possible to seek 'balance' on all committees by introducing a staunch representative of each conflicting viewpoint, although it would also be a pretty purposeless approach. The more important aim should be to bring together a group of the most credible and experienced people who are able to use evidence and scientific rigour to make recommendations. If those recommendations are rejected on moral grounds at a political level, then fine - but it does place pressure on the politicians to justify why they feel they know best.

    Personally I don't mind if the ACMD's recommendations happen to support the drug prevention or harm reduction agenda - what matters to me is how they arrived at those decisions and that their recommendations are, to the best of current knowledge, the 'right' thing to do based on observation and experience.

    The fact that a significant number of the AMCD are harm reductionists may well reflect that this is where the evidence is suggesting that we should be looking to go - and we certainly wouldn't be the first country to arrive at that type of conclusion.

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  • 25. At 1:11pm on 21 Jan 2011, Pastorius wrote:

    Yuck. Yuck yuck yuck yuck.

    Aspiring towards a 'drug free society' (well, some drugs. Pharmaceuticals are fine probably in his eyes, along with coffee, alcohol, nicotine) is a fine aspiration, undoubtably there would be better public health without drugs.

    However, you may as well aspire to a greed free society, or a jealousy free society, because they're just as likely. We need to take control of the drug trade as a country and make sure dosage, purity, and age control are TIGHTLY regulated.

    Another appointment by the 'drug are bad mmmmkay' parade, and almost certainly a big thumbs up from James Broken Britain Brokenshire.

    I am sickened by this appointment.

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  • 26. At 1:14pm on 21 Jan 2011, Greg Webb wrote:

    Such a shame to see such bigoted, narrow-minded and fixed opinions from someone claiming they're a product of his Christianity. I'm a practising Christian too and I feel very sad at the number of Christians I see in public life expressing such uncharitable, unloving opinions so far removed from most Christians I know.

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  • 27. At 1:22pm on 21 Jan 2011, McD wrote:

    I think it's a good appointment.

    As any confidence in the (US/)UN(/UK) (Axis) 'narcotics' conventions of 1961 and '88 to continue as effective instruments capable of repressing demand for officially bad drugs gradually dwindles, a clown who highlights the folly is an invaluable asset. Had the position been filled by someone with a more realistic understanding of the role drugs have played, play and will play in society, then it might take longer for those in stubborn denial to face up to reality. With a clown at the helm all but the most profoundly unintelligent should soon feel uncomfortable being associated with the antiquated mentality espoused and should, therefore, find it easier to quietly back down and crawl out of their silly corners. This is a significant step towards the annulment of the UN conventions, which is the most essential step in normalising societies' use of drugs.

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  • 28. At 4:17pm on 21 Jan 2011, Phil Linehan wrote:

    Any mention of Christianity or any other religion in this context is obscene. What a choice!

    Phil Linehan

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  • 29. At 6:34pm on 21 Jan 2011, Oz wrote:

    Prohibition doesn't work, just ask anyone who was living in the US during the 1920s. The same thing is happening now with other recreational drugs. The simple fact is that both alcohol and tobacco each cause more deaths every year than all the illegal recreational drugs combined, and most of the deaths caused by the illegal drugs are due to the substances they are 'cut' with to maximise profits. The only way forward is to legalise them, tax them, and regulate them. Such a policy would not only reduce the number of drug related deaths, but also take money out of the hands of criminals and put it into the hands of the treasury, thereby reducing crime and the deficit in one fell swoop.

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  • 30. At 8:22pm on 21 Jan 2011, Euforiater wrote:

    Can anybody tell me why these right-wing interfere-with-people's-private-lives types always call themselves "Christian"? As I recall Jesus Christ was supposed to be a forgiving type and all for sharing - that makes him one of the world's first liberals, a sort of Roman-era Derren Brown.
    Also why are some people so obsessed with other people's sexuality? To me the only reason to want to know "which way they swing" is if you're hoping to be a part of it.
    As for saying "it is futile to pursue discredited policies of so-called 'harm-reduction' ", just another attempt to persuade people that harm-reduction has been tried. It hasn't; cannabis and other less-harmful-than-alcohol drugs are STILL illegal - in 2011!!!!

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  • 31. At 8:50pm on 21 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Christianity like all major religion also has its own prophecies contained within revelations foretold as the events of the change of the world I wont use end as that's just one interpretation of these prophecies.
    I wonder how the good Dr See's these prophecies.?

    many Christians world wide hold these beliefs as written truths take the passing of revelations 18 which talks about the collapse of world finance and wealth, just 4 prophets later we have the 'Healing of Nations' which many believe to be the emergence of cannabis as modern medicine and as our science and biological abilities grow we find that the constituent parts of this plant and its natural antagonists all play key roles in our health from conception to death.

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  • 32. At 9:04pm on 21 Jan 2011, Jim wrote:

    Scientific advisory panels should be free from political and religious influence. Sounds like this guy will bring both to the table. But I don't think it will have much effect on the wider debate. This is just a move by the government to soften the 'troublesome' ACMD. This appointment may make the ACMD more compliant with the government view, but the majority of the public will still be of the opinion that current drugs policy is a complete failure. A compliant/manipulated ACMD will only harden their opinion of failed government policy. This debate will rage indefinitely.

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  • 33. At 9:08pm on 21 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    a nice review on work between 2000 and 2011

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  • 34. At 10:01pm on 21 Jan 2011, Euforiater wrote:

    31. John Ellis:
    "...just 4 prophets later we have the 'Healing of Nations' which many believe to be the emergence of cannabis as modern medicine..."
    - Just for my curiosity, is that where Bob Marley got the phrase from?

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  • 35. At 10:08pm on 21 Jan 2011, DontTrustTheGovernment wrote:

    How does someones belief in some omnipotent deity that may or may not exist equip that person to judge on the impact of certain substances on the human body and society as a whole. I have no problem with his beliefs, just his ability to think rationally.

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  • 36. At 10:26pm on 21 Jan 2011, DontTrustTheGovernment wrote:

    "From a Christian standpoint we are concerned that the issue of drug misuse is frequently focused only on the physical and perhaps also the emotional aspects of drug misuse, ignoring the spiritual dimension", Dr Raabe's organisation has stated.


    I've found that taking ecstasy is a very spiritual experience. Perhaps if Dr Raabe dropped an E he might find he can get closer to 'his' God.

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  • 37. At 11:28pm on 21 Jan 2011, U14760724 wrote:

    @Mary Brett #21

    There is no such thing as drug prevention other than pragmatic ideals that can never be pertained to.

    For over half a century we've had drug prevention as priority in policy, and it has failed miserably as you well know. If you had some evidence for your bragging rights, your position could be forgiven, but every area of the drugs issue has slipped into a dangerous quagmire, and is strangling every area of society. The current method of prohibition only serves to keep those who have an invested interest of the subject in funding & to remain in the public domain. To be polite, it borders on extremism.

    We all agree that we wish children to be kept away from drugs and harms way, but prohibition places them directly in the firing line. Drug prevention methodology has led to 35 000 deaths in Mexico, it does nothing to reduce prevalence or encumbered harms in the slightest.

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  • 38. At 11:32pm on 21 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Euforia Or wrote:
    31. John Ellis:
    "...just 4 prophets later we have the 'Healing of Nations' which many believe to be the emergence of cannabis as modern medicine..."
    - Just for my curiosity, is that where Bob Marley got the phrase from?

    Yes Euforiater again one of the rastafari beliefs

    that should be prophecies not prophets :) stupid auto correction :D

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  • 39. At 11:11am on 22 Jan 2011, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 40. At 12:24pm on 22 Jan 2011, brian042 wrote:

    Can I nominate Ozzy Osbourne for this committee?
    Unmatched expertise I'd say.

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  • 41. At 1:17pm on 22 Jan 2011, garval wrote:

    In the beginning, there was no light...oh sorry, wrong story. Ah, yes, true to its word, the Government (sometimes it can be keep its promises, you know) has shown us that it is sticking to its plans to ban science from drug policies, see:

    The Government has now shown its true colours by injecting superstition into drug policy veins. I am still scratching my head trying to find out what the latest addition to the ACMD is supposed to contribute to. After hours of trying, the only explanation I can fathom is that he is an expert in hallucinations and altered mind state behaviour. Did you know that this person believes that drinking a sip of wine and a morsel of waffers will not only do you a great deal of good, but guarantee you eternal life and a place to the right of somebody whose residence address is not known...not even to the Home Office! I think I owe the Government an apology: it is bringing real expertise, I do not know if the right expertise, but expertise nontheless.

    Gart Valenc

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  • 42. At 7:10pm on 22 Jan 2011, James Mcghee wrote:

    Ok i see how this works. Out with a rational minded expert on drugs, In with a biased christian GP who as far as i can see has no reason to hold the position of chair of the ACMD. Prof Nutt provided info that was relevant and unbiased and because of this he was sacked. Now they have employed a man who seems to hold the values of a dinosaur.This country really does my nutt in at times excuse (the pun Dave).

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  • 43. At 9:53pm on 22 Jan 2011, ProfessorNicholas wrote:

    I thought Professor David Nutt was the nutty professor or the chink in the Armour as you would say and look; He has been fired.

    I don't think he realized that people want to be in control of their own lives, body and mind. And when they feel low they take illegal substances to enjoy life as is intended; with their friends dancing or resting or however they choose fit. Because at the end of the day everybody gets stressed and from my research I've found that we are all human with human emotions. For example a drug like cannabis can help you wined down and relax after a hard days work

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  • 44. At 10:46am on 23 Jan 2011, mrbunnywunny wrote:

    It is extremely worrying that people who want to try new ways of tackling a problem are being sacked or are moved to resign whilst people who wish to persist with failed and discredited policies are being is of further concern that the specific individual referred to is clearly coming from a very biased starting point and is involved in attempting to deny gay people their proper rights and equal place in society;it is difficult to imagine that anybody who harbours this sort of prejudice can take a balanced view about anything.the appointment of people like this helps nobody;the public service needs objective and creative thinkers .

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  • 45. At 1:03pm on 23 Jan 2011, WolfiePeters wrote:

    If a Government has a stupid, irrational policy it wants to pursue, how can it find the staff to do it? Suitably articulate idiots don't grow on trees. The present UKGov seems to have adopted the Republican George W method: call in a religious raver.

    If they had followed the Berlusconi approach, at least, we would have had a highly paid expert with a huge and attractively exposed bosom.

    More seriously, I think DC and NC, and GB and Bliar before them, are smart enough to understand how much good they could have done by returning to 1950s drug policies. Either their integrity is very low and/or they think the electorate's intelligence is. I expected better.

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  • 46. At 5:23pm on 23 Jan 2011, budgood wrote:

    Truly, what are the differences between the British and Iranian governments these days, authoritarian, dogmatic, un-elected, self serving. I wish we could start leading the world by example rather than moralising from the sidelines.

    it is none of governments business what we choose to do with our lives. it is obvious from the scandals that are coming from the political elites and the police that they are no better than the people they claim to want to change through draconian legislation.

    when can we start to be a truly progressive tolerant and modern society that we can be proud of.

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  • 47. At 5:51pm on 23 Jan 2011, DrTeeth wrote:

    Being drug-free is not a natural state. First, alcohol and tobacco are drugs - as indeed are coffee and tea. Second, EVERY tribe/people that have been discovered are using/making some form of drug. This bible-basher has no place in a scientific forum.

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  • 48. At 07:03am on 24 Jan 2011, mickmorpeth wrote:

    That's just what we need, a purveyor of "the opium of the masses" at the controls. Let us all join hands for a quick chorus of "They have got me by the Gospels and I can't sit down" if that doesn't do it then we could try a midnight vigil.

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  • 49. At 09:57am on 24 Jan 2011, garval wrote:

    The more I think about it, the clearer it is to me why the Government has taken the decision to change the balance of power in the ACMD — which by the way, started with the sacking of Prof. Nutt by the labour Home Office secretary, Alan Johnson. The ACMD motto should read: a mental institution should be run by its patients. After all, they are the ones with the most direct, deep and personal experience one can wish for. So, let's invite the delusional, the superstitious. Why stop at christians? It should also be open to other experts in the paranormal and the supernatural: astrologers, mediums, levitationists, ... (you can add your favourite expertise to the list)

    The sad thing is, our drug policies, incarnated in the so-called "war on drugs", is not a laughing matter. These policies are responsible for the violence, corruption and destruction of democratic institutions of a large number of countries around the world,... ours included!

    Gart Valenc

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  • 50. At 11:54am on 24 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:
    coca leaf chewing cultural or drug abuse?
    drinking tea cultural or drug abuse?

    strange bunch these drug warriors.

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  • 51. At 1:48pm on 24 Jan 2011, AdaptableAnn wrote:

    • 37. At 11:28pm on 21 Jan 2011, U14760724 wrote:
    @Mary Brett #21

    U14760724 says ‘drug prevention ideals can never be pertained to’ The success of Drug prevention in the USA in the 1980’s and early l990s, where drug use was reduced by 50%, showed that good drug prevention can achieve excellent results. Unfortunately the politicians in the USA thought they had solved the problem and decimated the funding for good drug prevention programmes and family support organisations. Results ? Drug use again began to climb and they are now having to re-visit drug prevention and education policies. You say that for over half a century we’ve had drug prevention policy --but we have not had drug prevention as a priority in policy ! We have had harm reduction as the primary aim – which has failed miserably as everyone can see. Reducing the harm from drug use has always meant reducing the harm to the user – not to the family and friends of the user and not to society at large. Whilst this may be a laudable aim as part of drug policy it should never have been the central plank. The mixed messages that come from such policies and also from the glamorisation of drug use by so-called celebs, comedians and often documentary TV programmes have contributed to a minority of young people deciding to try drugs. Sadly this sometimes leads to heavy use due to the addictive nature of the substances – including tobacco and alcohol. There seems to be very little anti-prohibition comments from our attempts to prevent nicotine smoking – or against ideas to prevent or reduce binge drinking……. Real drug prevention involves a society wanting to achieve what may seem impossible – a drug-free society – Sweden has a very low incidence of drug use because the messages that come from government, their education system and the families are all saying the same thing - drug use is unhealthy, unlawful and unnecessary. I find it interesting that whenever there are articles or blogs around this subject dozens of people write and endorse the ‘lets legalise drugs ‘ view – I strongly suspect that they themselves (or perhaps their teenage children) are drug users. Why are there not more letters from those of us who want to prevent the use of drugs (and the inappropriate use of legal drugs) ? It could be the bias of those editing comment pages and blogs - but I think it is more likely that they are too busy getting on with their drug-free lives and depend on those ‘prohibitionists or drug-free warriors or idealists’ to respond on their behalf. Recent surveys have shown that the majority of the British public do not want drugs legalised – and the reality of the situation in The Netherlands and Portugal would show they are absolutely right. As for prohibition placing children directly in the firing line – do you really believe that legalisation would remove drug dealers ? The ghastly situation in Mexico simply shows how the drug lords, fighting amongst themselves for territories, are prepared to kill in order to retain control of their lucrative market.
    Sadly no the dealers would not give up their businesses and fade away – they would simply target those under l8 (for whom we assume legalised drugs would not be available) plus they would sell drugs at a cut price (as they already do now with cigarettes) - result ? dealers still make money but from a different customer base. Whilst it may not be possible to achieve a totally drug-free society it is certainly achievable to reduce the levels of use to those in Sweden – or indeed to those in the UK 50 years ago – one has only to look at the success of the anti-smoking campaign to see what can be done. Yes we still have those who smoke cigarettes – (many of whom will be smoking those cigarettes with a little weed added to the tobacco !) - but the total population of smokers has reduced drastically – and the health of the nation as improved as a result.

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  • 52. At 2:31pm on 24 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    AdaptableAnn why should people give up drugs anymore than they should convert from Christianity to Muslim or visa versa.

    Why should a plant that costs nothing to grow earn over 9 billion a year just in the UK?
    Why because we have this strange idea of a drug free society. yet thanks to our ability to manipulate nature at the point of individual compounds we see a wider spectrum of yet unproven drugs cascade through society.
    You only have to look at the cannabis markets and the artificial inflation placed on it by the UK government when they moved it back to class B adding 5 billion to the market value of cannabis. Which in turn has turned cannabis growing into a gateway to so called 'legal highs'. Which in turn has created problems in the supply and demand of cannabis.
    More people then ever before are growing their own as the price rises across the UK. This in turn may lead to much heavier use amongst the individual. Currently cannabis is selling for around 4 times the average street price during the class C years. The other knock on effect with the cannabis market becoming a home grown market is the paying of bills damage to property and so on especially in a rental market, as a very senior police officer found out after renting out his 400k home to some random people, who then turned it into a 100 thousand pound a harvest operation and left a 20 thousand pound electric bill.

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  • 53. At 2:39pm on 24 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    from about question 41 drugs are disscused

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  • 54. At 6:14pm on 24 Jan 2011, U14567582 wrote:

    @ AdaptableAnn #51.

    Thank you for your comment.

    I would fully disagree with you on the drug prevention of 1980's U.S.A, I take it we refer to the Just Say No campaign amongst other things? I would hold strong reservations over using any stat put out under a Regan or Bush administration, they will not fight your corner very well. I would simply refer you to a study by published in 'American Psychologist' in May 1990. Two psychologists for the University of California indirectly challenged the ethics of drug teachings of the day in a rigorous longitude study. To be succinct, the Just Say No campaign was tragically laughable given it acted as drug advertising and simply did not address symptoms of drug use. This of course conflicted with official government stance and little was reported on the results.

    Are you aware also of the statistic by the U.N? To impact the 'War on Drugs' we have to seize 60%-70% of heroin on our streets? We currently stop 1%. This was a study by Professor McKegany. And when such a large band of Law Enforcement wish to change tactics through regulatory measures, maybe we should listen to those on the front line of this issue? Drug Prevention looks good on paper and serves a purpose to look good, but it does nothing to treat what is actually going on.

    I must pull you up on your points on 'alcohol and tobacco' & those of us who you consider "legalisers". Please read the Misuse of Drugs Act. We do not have legal substances and I do not call for legalisation. We have methods of control for drugs that are outlined in the Misuse of Drugs Act (MODA). Alcohol & tobacco - despite strenuous calls to be placed under the ambit of the M.O.D.A - still have no control; the government still refuse to place these two popular drugs under control. This means big business has near full control over the two most popular drugs in society, and we have a full societal fallout because of this. The M.O.D.A fails to control other substances due to the control model of prohibition, and the M.O.D.A fails to control anything with alcohol and tobacco by not making industry accountable. The alcohol industry has some extremely lax morals with their marketing to youngsters... as do illicit drug dealers of course. There are paradoxes in this contestable subject matter.

    It is laughable to suggest we have had harm reduction at the heart of policy. Why does the UK have some of the toughest measures in Europe, and why do we have the biggest drug problem? I assume you would prefer harsher measures and you propose this will aid the issue? Please explain how we can progress, what would you like to see?

    Also, it is a little crass to imply that anyone calling for a scientific and measured response to drug policy is a drug addled fiend. I could wade in with equal connotations to those I view as hard lined, but I do not and it serves as no credit to arguments to suggest such things.

    And yes, under a regulatory model or scientific approach, a black market could ensue, as it does for jeans, trainers, ipods etc, but black markets are as old as civilisation. However, it's easier and safer to tackle a fledgling black market than it is one of the biggest global industries in the world now. The U.N's estimated worth of the drugs trade? $320billion. And where is that uncapped profit going? In the pockets of the men standing on the street corners who directly target our kids. We've never had a drug free society, and we are never going to.

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  • 55. At 8:52pm on 24 Jan 2011, Euforiater wrote:

    Well I fully intended to take apart comment 51 sentence by sentence but it seems someone has beaten me to it. So I'll just pick a few general answers instead. The first is that I need to point out one comment you made which has blown your own argument apart:
    "– one has only to look at the success of the anti-smoking campaign to see what can be done." - We can ALL note that this has been done WITHOUT resorting to making cigarettes illegal --> you don't need prohibition ( and its associated crime cost) to cut down on drug use.

    "Recent surveys have shown that the majority of the British public do not want drugs legalised – and the reality of the situation in The Netherlands and Portugal would show they are absolutely right."
    - Two points here. One is that it's irrelevant to the argument how many people currently "want drugs legalised" - there are countries where the majority of people would swear blind that witchcraft causes ailments but I'm pretty sure it doesn't, (you might agree with me on this). The other point is why are you repeating the discredited suggeston that the decriminalisation in Portugal and Holland has failed, when all the indicators I've ever seen point to a drop in usage + a big drop in negative effects compared to other countries with more tyrannical drugs laws?
    The point is that in neither case have you provided ANY evidence to your conjecture, and this is a general theme of your thread.

    My main points against prohibition are very simple:
    a, What business is it of yours what I put in my body? (This is the freedom argument and frankly, in the western world where religious intolerance is supposed to be fading, this should be enough on its own).
    b, Why am I paying taxes to support this whole fiasco? From what I can see a big percentage of my hard-earned is going to pay for the wages of people paid to chase other people who are breaking a law that needn't be there in the first place. The scientific medical community should be the ones to show us how to deal with this, vested interests + those with divinely-inspired "morals" (back to the original point of the blog) should get out.

    ..and finally..
    "Why are there not more letters from those of us who want to prevent the use of drugs?"
    - Actually some of the anti-prohibition posters ARE trying to prevent drug use - at least use of the more harmful ones, by breaking the link with crime caused by the banning of the "lesser" drugs. If you're wondering why most of the posts are anti-prohibition it's because we've been through the same arguments in many of these blogs, doubts have been answered and it's really become more of an education thing than an argument. It would be worth your while to go over previous blogs in this section to see what I mean, particularly the ones with attached links. BTW these BBC blogs aren't edited, if your points don't break the published rules, they go in, which is more than I can say for tabloid commentary

    Drugs can never be controlled outside the law.

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  • 56. At 00:54am on 25 Jan 2011, therealsim_o wrote:

    It's not just the appointment of Dr Raabe that should be of concern...

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  • 57. At 12:47pm on 25 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Ex world leaders, Branson launch drugs campaign
    (AFP) – 23 hours ago

    GENEVA — Former world leaders and other personalities including Virgin chief Richard Branson on Monday launched a global drive to tackle drug abuse, amid signs that a crackdown on drugs crime is failing.

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  • 58. At 3:54pm on 25 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    USA and the EU to be accused of rasist behaviour by ENCOD.

    So while preserving the right to use the coca leaf as a raw material for profitable industries dominated by Western companies, the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs has criminalized traditional consumption. This is one of the most shameful acts that have been committed by the Western world against other civilisations in recent history. To present an objection to the Bolivian proposal would imply a flagrant violation of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2007, that established the right of indigenous peoples to "maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression." If the Western world wants to ban this practice, it would have to destroy Andean culture.

    Prohibiting traditional coca leaf consumption is a racist act.

    Therefore the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies will initiate the legal procedure to lodge a complaint for racism against any EU government that will tomorrow decide to object against the request of the Bolivian government to modify the Single Convention in this sense.

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  • 59. At 12:48pm on 26 Jan 2011, TheRealImpostor wrote:

    In this age of science, when we have begun to discover the origins of the universe and the evolution of human beings, the government appoints a man to a scientific body - the ACMD - who publicly espouses his belief that a supernatural entity created the universe and people, that he has set rules for our behaviour, and that we have eternal ghosts inside our bodies. Oh, and he doesn't know very much about drugs. If it wasn't true it would be hell of a good joke.

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  • 60. At 2:58pm on 26 Jan 2011, bigsammyb wrote:

    being a christian should, by definition, ban you from being part of any kind of scientific government advisory body.

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  • 61. At 3:02pm on 26 Jan 2011, bigsammyb wrote:

    "1. At 6:54pm on 20 Jan 2011, jon112dk wrote:
    So the committee has been 'doctored' to suit tory policies and may well start recommending tough action against drugs.

    Previously, posters on here have taken the view that the politicians should immediately carry out any and all recommendations from the committee.

    Will people still be calling for automatic obediance?

    I stick by my original position: 'experts' advise, politicians make the final decision."

    Except this guy is NOT a scientific expert. He is not qualified to be a member of the ACMD and is only their in order to try and legitimise government policy.

    If you have free thinking rational scientists then yes we should do as they advise. But this man is a christian ergo he is deluded and his opinion does not deserve any serious ackowledgement.

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  • 62. At 6:25pm on 26 Jan 2011, slightlyallthetime wrote:

    #60..that about says it all really.
    But do we really want these drugs legalised? I've been smoking dope for 42 years and never had any trouble getting hold of it,if the government was in control of the supply the price would not go down,we'd all be contributing to government tax revenues instead of the dealer we currently buy from,and despite the image created by the government and the anti drug brigade of the dealer skulking around school playgrounds trying to flog his wares to the kids,this has never been my experience over the years,most of the dealers I've bought from are normal family men or just regular guys providing a service,I'd rather they had the profit than this or any future government raking in the revenues.
    In fact it's probably a better route to take to get the stuff legalised,by starting a campaign by all the drug users in the country to keep it illegal,they'll think they're missing out on something and start to look into legalising it!
    Whoever this new guy on the drugs advisory committee is,is irrelevant,I reckon there's too much black market drug money propping up the the city of London and the stock markets,take this money out of the system and we'd probably see a stock market crash,remember,80% of the paper money circulating in London has traces of cocaine on it.

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  • 63. At 8:01pm on 26 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    @62 nope we dont need them legalised but it would help.
    back to the Christian bit

    So now thats established can we please leave us true christians alone its the ones like the Dr that give us a bad name with thier own interpritations of history.

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  • 64. At 8:56pm on 26 Jan 2011, Have your say Rejected wrote:

    This is like EHRC employing David Duke as the chair of the commission.

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  • 65. At 11:38am on 29 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 66. At 7:33pm on 30 Jan 2011, Euforiater wrote:

    @63 John, I'm not religious myself but I understand your annoyance at being "tarred with the same brush" as people like Dr Raabe. I know several Christian churchgoers and to be honest they're all thoroughly decent people, frequently giving up their own time to help out with various voluntary groups and expecting very little in return. I think the real divide amongst believers is the New Testament/Old Testament one. The Old Testament types are the ones obsessed with punishment for "bad" people - which in this case means drug users. They're the ones who would have been doing the stoning/witch burning in the past (when they were allowed to). Thankfully the vast majority in our country take their lead from Jesus and model their own behaviour on his "goodness is its own reward" approach. We'll leave the ticket to heaven bit to another argument for now.

    On a different note it was interesting seeing the BBC3 program "Cannabis: What's the Harm?" on BBC3 on Thursday night. Again we had a more balanced view of the issue, so kudos to the BBC.
    Two scenes particularly struck me: The first was the twenty-something whose life had effectively been re-started when he started medicating his illness with cannabis, his picture-perfect parents saying how it was "good to have him back to his old self", a blow for anyone who still thinks it can't be used as a medicine. The other was the police in full body armour who smashed in the bloke's door to find all 6 plants of his personal grow. Needless to say he was a bit miffed they didn't ask where he was at the time (at the local) in which case, as he says "I would have just let them in myself. Now I've been told that because I was caught doing something illegal I've got to pay for all the damage".
    Real value for money, this law and order.
    Hopefully the second part, this Thursday, will be as balanced.

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  • 67. At 9:31pm on 30 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Eurofighter indeed the BBC 3 program was excellent one of the most balanced programs Ive seen in a long time, My aunt who teaches set the series as homework for her students.

    It was good to see Jason explain why its not right to be forced to take really dangerous drugs that shorten life, and that he had a better way to treat his illness. I know Jason to talk to and he really is a great guy with nothing more than a wish to live a decent life without having it untimely cut of through pharmaceutical drugs. The same reason I use it I know I'm on some form of medication for the rest of my natural life so i want one that wont see me off with untimely side effects. I mean a 1 in 6000 chance of death from SSRIs 1 in 2000 from antidepressants in general and finally the one i love for long term use 1 in 200 chance of suicide.
    There were however a few concerns about the use of cannabis i felt they let slip mainly the 14 year old who obviously has a real problem, who's mum admitted to feeling slight mental health issues when she used still ferry the young man in question to weekend parties. I can guarantee in a few years time when the full problem comes to light his parents will blame the BBC or something for glamorizing his drug use. Yet they are the ones dropping him at his weekend parties were they know he will smoke the herb. I do hope the BBC had the sense to help with referrals and such to turn the young mans life around from the solitary pit it has become.

    It was also good to see the daily mail embarrass itself with mindless glamorizing propaganda on the BB3 programmes mostly the cocaine one but hay they showed the truth and the consequence.

    next weeks will be good and then on the 15th the is another documentary out. When we grow... all about the development of hemp industries and what it means for a cheaper more efficient future through the industrialization of hemp. The cannabis/hemp campaign is changing pace and direction moving to the things that are important to the nation and the people of the nation. medicines that are safe, fuels that dont cost the earth buildings that fix the environment by being not only very warm but carbon negative which is better than carbon neutral. If we invested in bio fuels from hemp now we could drastically reduce our food and transport costs almost over night, the problem is though our government know all this and suppress it because they want to stop people smoking cannabis.

    Medical research in the UK is blocked by cannabis and its components being schedule 1 so many illness will go untreated while synthetic compounds are found that may give something close to the required results even if they do hold many unwanted side effects.

    Even damage by alcohol cannot be fully investigated as it effects the CB receptors in the body and the balance of the ECSN this is how they get away with safe to drink when pregnant when clearly its not through fatty acid changes in the liver that shut down and protect the nervous systems in both mum and baby, we know this causes fertility problems for men from studies done but alas it will never be properly researched.

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  • 68. At 3:22pm on 31 Jan 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Just sent waits on usual tripe and propaganda for an answer

    Good Afternoon Mr Brokenshire

    I am writing to you with regards to the current process of the scheduling of Sativex a whole cannabis extract used in the treatment of pain and MS spasticity.

    As I understand the ACMD has recently put forward a request to have Sativex moved from a schedule 1 drug that has no medical use to a schedule 4 drug that has many uses in the treatment of the Human ECSN.

    I understand that one of the concerns of the government is that in rescheduling Sativex to a useful drug with medical value will leave the way open to further legislation regarding the medical use of cannabinoids.

    What I would like to know is when can we expect a fair and just ruling on this classification as there are many sick and disabled people in the UK that need to be lifted out of criminality for using a plants extracts that are now known the world over to alleviate many of the symptoms of these illnesses, but for whom pharmaceutical drugs are either unacceptable due to risk of further illness or shortening of life.

    Many thanks for your time

    John Ellis

    Medical Cannabis user

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  • 69. At 3:02pm on 01 Feb 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    it seems its not just scientists that dont want to be assosiated with curent goverment moral standing.

    I know that pfizer are moving heavely in to the ECSN so its not supprising they are pulling 2400 jobs in RnD in the UK as cannabinoids cant be used or reseached.
    some of pfizer's current reseach involves living medicens and organisums that usterlise the ECSN..

    If this RnD constraint continues we will end up with a 3rd world science departments across the UK.

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  • 70. At 4:52pm on 01 Feb 2011, polite and kind wrote:

    The American led shrinks obsession with other "addicts" is quite funny when it comes from those that could equally under the same rules that determine the addiction of any pot head be called" Religiously addicted."

    Some of these un-addicted Christians really should consider that the definition of psychological addiction (which is all they have been able to try to prove with pot) is fully encompassing of those that would "go to war for my God".
    That would" fight for their rights to worship"

    The religiously addicted and the drunks gang up on the pot heads to have a target to keep them down just to try to "prove " their point in their bias experiment. Outlaw Religion and Alcohol and Tobacco. level the playing field.

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  • 71. At 12:53pm on 02 Feb 2011, TheRealImpostor wrote:

    Today (1/2/11) Sir David Omand's 'Report of the 2010 NDPB Review of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)' was released. It makes it clear that (1) the ACMD is a group of government-appointed experts (so you won't find any/many anti-prohibitionists on it - have you seen the latest list LOL); and, to quote, (2) "It could ... be that occasionally a different opinion to that of the ACMD on policy might legitimately be reached by Ministers (advised by Departmental policy officials), even where there is no disputing the science... In the end, and subject to the will of Parliament, the Minister’s decision is then final" (paragraph 21).
    In short, the government appoints largely prohibition-supporters to be members of the ACMD, and should they unexpectedly come up with any advice the government disagrees with, the government is free to reject it (as it always has done).
    Consider this (paragraph 24, footnote 22): "The only classification recommendations that were not accepted and acted upon by government were in 1978 (Cannabis from B to C) and 2009 (Cannabis to stay at C and Ecstasy from A to B)". In other words, the government accepts any ACMD advice to ban a drug or to upgrade the classification of a drug (eg. from B to A), but has rejected the rare advice the ACMD has ever made to downgrade the classification of a drug or make it legally available.
    I can only draw one conclusion from this: the ACMD is a sham, a toothless dog for the government to pat on the head when it agrees with what the government has already decided. Our drug policy and drug laws have nothing to do with science or reason, and everything to do with politics and corruption. Sir David Omand has now made this fact explicit and public. ACMD: Advisory Council on the Manipulation of Dogma.

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  • 72. At 4:41pm on 02 Feb 2011, slightlyallthetime wrote:

    #71...This is more or less my point in my previous blog #62 Do we really want dope legalised...and consequently paying taxes on the stuff to fund a bunch of dishonest politicians.
    Having smoked the stuff since 1969,I've always wanted it legalised but now I'm not so sure if that's a wise move,I dont want to be contributing to this lot in government or any future government,I've always seen them as the enemy,in 1969 you could still be imprisoned for possessing cannabis in relatively small amounts,things have changed a little since then as in,it would probably be confiscated by the police now and you'd get a caution, and have to go and buy some more dope to replace what you'd lost to the cops!
    Let's keep it underground,all the profits made by dealers gets pumped back into the system anyway and is probably a large part of the economy,removing this money from the economy and handing it to the politicians is clearly not a good idea given the level of incompetence shown by most,if not all politicians.

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  • 73. At 11:30am on 05 Feb 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Sativex the law and cannabinoids.
    Over the last decade one of the first pharmaceutical applications of natural cannabinoids was realised in the form of "Sativex" by GW Pharmaceuticals. Having passed its final testing and given the green light by the MHRA in June 2010, its recommendation for use and classification has now been submitted to the UK government. Many thousands of people wait now to see if the UK government will finally lift them out of criminality and reschedule Sativex and its component cannabinoids a schedule 2 or 4 drug. Herein lies one of the greatest tests of the administration of the MODA 1971. To date government has never recognised cannabinoids as having a therapeutic use in the treatment of human illness, nor have they taken cognisance of the Human endocannabinoid system network (ECSN), (this we now know is responsible for building protection and repair of the body from conception to death).

    This possibility all sounds wonderful until you start to look at it from the government’s point of view. If they do what many insist is the only rational thing and reclassify Sativex and its components as a schedule 2 or 4 drug, then this means that they must also admit that cannabinoids and cannabis are therapeutic treatments for illness (Sativex is made from 2 different cannabis plants one that is mostly pure THC and one that is mostly CBD along with the 100's of other cannabinoids contained in the formula used).

    As it stands there is no lawful justification for medical use through arguing 'necessity' or for special case permissions, this however could change leading to medical cannabis proliferation. Cannabis might present a very economic solution, yet this branded medicine is far too expensive for something that can be grown for £30 a month. This would also question competition laws with respect to monopolies, perhaps making the law around cannabinoid use even less workable than before. It could kick off a cottage garden industry with several growers forming licensed companies to provide their own versions of sativex and other edible products.

    Will James Brokenshire and the government open these gates, or will they keep them firmly closed in support of a moral agenda that overrule science, human rights and common sense

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  • 74. At 3:29pm on 06 Feb 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    heres a really good story it seems ontop of claims that alcohol is good for the heart it seems cannabis is even better.
    Marijuana Compounds Hold Promise In Treatment Of Cardiovascular Diseases

    Dont see alcohol making any such claim...

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  • 75. At 10:01am on 07 Feb 2011, John Ellis wrote:

    Yet another Storm in a tea cup.

    Im realy happy with this news...

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  • 76. At 03:27am on 09 Feb 2011, NattyFido wrote:

    "This is a contradiction in itself, since there are no safe ways of taking drugs."
    So is he saying that there is no safe way to take paracetamol or ibuprofen? Or does he mean 'drugs' ie. mind altering substances, like cannabis, heroin, alcohol, nicotine and caffeine? Maybe he means 'illegal drugs', if so, doesn't he realise that cannabis is a lot safer than alcohol? No one ever died from overdosing on cannabis, it is physically impossible to smoke or eat that much, unlike say, vodka and other 'legal drugs', like painkillers.
    Good riddance, keep religion and other forms of bigotry out of politics.

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