The Conservatives - who also disagree with the ACMD position on cannabis - backed the decision to sack Professor Nutt. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling issued this statement:
“This was an inevitable decision after his latest ill-judged contribution to the debate but it is a sign of lack of focus at the Home Office that it didn’t act sooner given that he has done this before.”
As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong) Nutt offered advice, HMG didn't take it, Nutt threw toys out of pram. Not by publishing figures which showed (I leave methodology etc out of it*) that cannabis was less dangerous than alcohol/fags, something which is quite possible, but by explicitly saying the decision was wrong. At which point you can see why Alan Johnson lost patience with him. How can you ask someone for advice if the deal is that you HAVE to accept it or the adviser will go public on his disgreements ? At that point you may as well hand over policy to the adviser and democracy goes out of the window.
(* As for his brilliant insight that ecstasy is less dangerous than horse-riding, shooting up smack is a lot safer than climbing in the Himalayas - something which the government has no intention of outlawing. Therefore why on earth is heroin illegal ?
And anyone who thinks scientists are a bunch of disinterested, non-political types doesn't know anything about the history of science. Scientific disputes can be some of the nastiest around and can make politics look almost clean.
And on skunk, see the comments to my earlier post. That weed is a lot more powerful than the stuff Jacqui Smith used to smoke and Bill Clinton failed to inhale.)
UPDATE - Professor Bruce Charlton (of whom more in a day or two) on foolish people of high intelligence. Love the ending :
I should in all honesty point-out that I recognize this phenomenon from the inside. In other words, I myself am a prime example of a ‘clever silly’; having spent much of adolescence and early adult life passively absorbing high-IQ-elite-approved, ingenious-but-daft ideas that later needed, painfully, to be dismantled. I have eventually been forced to acknowledge that when it comes to the psycho-social domain, the commonsense verdict of the majority of ordinary people throughout history is much more likely to be accurate than the latest fashionably-brilliant insight of the ruling elite. So, this article has been written on the assumption, eminently-challengeable, that although I have nearly-always been wrong in the past – I now am right….