Don't just say no on drug policy
WHEN the subject of drugs comes into the public eye, my mind usually wanders to the classic 1980s anti-drug song from the cast of Grange Hill, Just Say No. Perhaps if government drugs advisor Professor David Nutt had reiterated this simple advice from Zam
WHEN the subject of drugs comes into the public eye, my mind usually wanders to the classic 1980s anti-drug song from the cast of Grange Hill, Just Say No.
Perhaps if government drugs advisor Professor David Nutt had reiterated this simple advice from Zammo and Co, he would still be in a job now.
As it is he has been sacked, and I think this shows how unwilling the Government is to engage in a sensible debate on this subject.
After all, were Professor Nutt's comments really that bad? All he said was that he didn't believe cannabis should be a class B drug, and that it should instead be in the lower C category because he thinks there is "relatively small risk" of psychotic illness stemming from cannabis use.
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I don't understand what the point is of having independent advisors if you sack them when they say something you don't like. I'm afraid I have to agree with Professor Nutt, who told the BBC that his sacking is a "serious challenge to the value of science in relation to the government". We need our scientists to tell us the truth, not what the Government wants us to hear. I applaud Professor Nutt for sticking to his guns, and his colleagues from the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs who have resigned in protest.
Meanwhile, the effects of drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco will continue to harm millions of people up and down the country, causing a great drain on the National Health Service in the process. Will the Government be looking into reclassifying either of these damaging drugs? Given the level of tax garnered from these two sources, it seems highly unlikely.
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Well done to Royston's mayor, Cllr Rod Kennedy, for taking a stand against over-development of the town (Crow October 29).
Cllr Kennedy's comments about the future of Royston echo my thoughts on this page on October 1 that housing developments must be accompanied by new amenities and infrastructure.
Since I wrote that piece we have seen another development announced which will raise serious concerns for people living in Burns Road and Coombelands.
Let's hope that if planning permission is granted for this scheme, it will be built in a form which is acceptable to the people already living in the area, and a form which benefits Royston as a whole.
Another load of, to quote Cllr Kennedy, "poky and crammed" flats or house will not do anyone any favours other than those who will profit from their sale.