"ecstasy is safer then horse riding" Government drug adviser force to apologise

By Sippin40oz · Feb 9, 2009 · ·
  1. Sippin40oz
    LONDON (Reuters) - The head of the narcotics advisory board has apologised after saying the drug ecstasy was less dangerous than horse riding, the government said on Monday.

    Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said David Nutt's remarks in a scientific journal sent the wrong message to young people about the dangers of drugs.

    "I've told him that I was surprised and in fact profoundly disappointed by the article reported," she told MPs in the Commons.

    "Professor Nutt apologised to me for his comments and I've asked him to, as well, apologise to the families of the victims of ecstasy."

    Nutt, Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, is the chair of the government's Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

    The committee is due to report on Wednesday on a possible downgrade of ecstasy from the top of the three-category classification.

    Nutt wrote in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that 10 people in Britain died a year from horse riding -- or "equasy" as he called it -- and that it was associated with more than 100 road traffic accidents annually.

    "Based on these harms, it seems likely that the ACMD would recommend control (for equasy) under the Misuse of Drugs Act perhaps as a Class A drug given it appears more harmful than ecstasy," he said.

    Between 35 and 50 people die each year in England and Wales from ecstasy, currently ranked as one of the most dangerous Class A drugs, along with heroin and cocaine, according to government figures.

    But Nutt said ecstasy was proportionately less dangerous, causing acute harm only in one in every 10,000 cases, compared to one in 350 cases for horse riding.

    He said it was inconsistent to allow harmful sports while banning relatively less harmful drugs.

    Full story can be found here: Reuters

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  1. Alfa
    Seems like the pressure is building for Professor Nut. I do hope that he will stand tall. Even though the government will not have the balls to face the facts. Hat's off to the professor for waiving the truth in their face!
  2. podge
    What really pisses me off is how they try to make him seem like some kind of monster by demanding he "apologize to the families of the victims of ecstasy" - as if he is somehow to blame. If he is made apologize for simply telling the truth then it would be only fair Jacqui Smith apologize to the victims of horse riding accidents for misrepresenting and belittling the dangers involved in a sport which requires a human to ride on top of an animal which weights roughly 1000 pounds and can move around 30 mph .
  3. doggy_hat
    Maybe the home secretary ought to apologize to the families of ecstasy victims for supporting legislation that's responsible for impure drugs and misinformation that can be fatal.
  4. funkateer
    ^ agreed.
    Hopefully this attitude will spread to American doctors. I surely do hope he stands tall to alfa. However governments have those silly ways of breaking people...
  5. nate81
    Instead, they should apologize to the horse riders for not telling them sooner that horse riding is so extremely dangerous.

    Another blow to the drug war policies! Let's hope that ignorance will soon fall in the face of truth.
  6. Nature Boy
    This is an outrage. It seems the "moral concensus" wins again. What Nutt states is merely a fact. It's no more controversial than saying more people drown in water than they do in orange juice. So much concern for the poor victims of ecstasy but seriously, what about those who've been killed, paralysed or permanently injured in equestrian accidents? The double standards displayed here are mind-boggling.
  7. enquirewithin
    Professor Nutt has nothing to apologize about. The Labour Party has been actively involved in two illegal wars of aggression and in the ongoing slow genocide of the Palestinian people. Hundreds of thousands have died (including hundreds of Brits now) But I don't think any apologies will be forthcoming.

    I would like to know where the figures for 35-50 dead came from and what other substances were involved (especially alcohol).

    Who will apologize for the deaths from paracetamol? I can't find up to date figures, but:

    There are less fatalities now as sales are restricted.
  8. entheogensmurf
    Who can we write to for a comment?

    Can you send a message to Jacqui Smith (or whoever tends her emails) or is there somewhere lower down the chain that you normally go?

    I'm unfamiliar with that crazy part of the world.
    And I am referring to a serious email -- not some rambling swear contest.
  9. enquirewithin
    All you will get from any government minister is a BS standard reply.
  10. Sven99
    You may get a standard reply, but they pay a lot of attention to trends in letters and emails recieved. Its very much worth doing.
  11. Potter
    Dude, I tried horse riding once. It was an incredible experience.

    Sure, I'd heard about it, but had never done it myself and didn't really know what to expect. This redhead girl I knew who rode all the time took me to a riding party, it was like, deep in a park or something, kinda awesome. She hooked me up with some good horse, like it was clydesdale or some shit, supposed to be big. It didn't take long and we were "on the trail", which is what they say when the shit kicks in and the movement starts. Colors, sound, smell all were more heightened, yet stirred into an intoxicating blur. I moved to the rhythm of the horse and felt, for the first time in my life, totally in sync with other people. We were all riding, or "cantering" as it's called in horse circles. Some folks took it real far and went full rollin' gallop, I could see how you'd end up in a strange place if you did that for too long. Oh, and you have to drink a lot of water when you ride horse--you'll be fine, just totally fine with everything and everybody for a while and then, at the end of the ride, you'll start to notice you're a little hot and dry as things slow down.

    Then next morning I hurt in muscles I didn't know I had--they don't tell you about that! "Saddle sore" I guess it's called. Heh, though whether it was all from the horse or maybe a little from the redhead, I'll never know.
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