November 11th, 2009

tapir

House of cards

So three more drug advisors have quit the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs (UK), in support of the sacked Professor David Nutt.

"In this situation members wish for clarity and assurances about how the ministers view the council's advice and will view the council's advice in the future."

Looks like Alan 'OMG Where Did That Egg Come From I Better Go Wipe My Face Now' Johnson wasn't able to give them those clarity and assurances. Funny that. It's not as if politicians ignoring the advice of scientific bodies in favour of political agendas is anything new (remember Mad Cow disease?) - but now it's been brought out into the open, and it's about bloody time.

This issue isn't just about drugs, it's about the integrity of governments - about politicians acting in ways that aren't in the interests of their constituents, contrary to the advice of experts, and ignoring facts. About doing it blatantly, and about using power to silence those with opposing viewpoints. These things tend to go against most people's concept of democracy, and even your average Joe who doesn't think about drug issues at all while sips his pint will likely be incensed by that kind of behaviour from a politician. And for that reason this is getting quite a bit of traction in the media, which for those of us who DO care about drug policy, is a good thing.

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Meanwhile, I'm being overcome by an urge to do outrageous and borderline socially-unacceptable things. Will you be my partner in crime or my conscience?