Thursday, November 12, 2009
UK Scientist Who Criticized Goverment Marijuana Policy Fired!!
Drug adviser sacking was "humiliation" , says colleague
The sacking of the Government's chief drugs adviser was an "unnecessary
humiliation" and shows that political expediency "rules the roost", a
leading scientist who quit over the affair has warned.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Published: 2:55PM GMT 11 Nov 2009
Dr Simon Campbell resigned from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of
Drugs on Tuesday after Professor David Nutt was forced to step down for
criticising Government policy, especially relating to cannabis.
He was one of three advisers to go this week taking the total of those
who have resigned in support of Prof Nutt to five.
Dr Campbell, a synthetic organic chemist, said: "I think that was a
clash of personalities. I don't agree with the manner in which he was
dismissed. I think such an abrupt dismissal was an unnecessary
humiliation for such a respected scientist."
Asked about the Government's attitude to science, he added: "I think the
Home Secretary will listen to what the council says but at the end of
the day I think political expediency rules the roost."
Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, dismissed Prof Nutt after accusing him
of "crossing a line" into politics, especially after he criticised the
decision to reclassify cannabis as class B, against ACMD advice.
Dr Campbell said: "When we made our recommendation on cannabis we saw no
reason to change the classification and yet the government has already
decided to move from Class C to Class B.
"That can only be because the government saw it as a votes-catching
Dr John Marsden and Dr Ian Ragan also resigned from the council this
week despite a crunch meeting with Mr Johnson.
The meeting had been called because members of the advisory body wanted
reassurances from the Home Secretary that they could continue in "good
conscience" and that their advice would be respected.
Mr Johnson has said a joint code between Government and scientists,
proposed by the Royal Society, was being considered by Prime Minister
Gordon Brown and the Government's chief scientific adviser.
http://www.telegrap h.co.uk/news/ newstopics/ politics/ lawandorder/ 6545069/\
Drug-adviser- sacking-was- humiliation- says-colleague. html