Now Home Office drugs adviser wants to downgrade LSD from A to B

By chillinwill · Feb 11, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    The news has emerged after the Professor David Nutt was ordered to apologise by the Home Secretary for saying that taking ecstasy was no worse than riding a horse.
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    Prof Nutt is chairman of the Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which is set to recommend that ecstasy should be downgraded from A to B.

    In a radio interview last year, months before he became chairman of the council, Prof Nutt disclosed that he also favoured downgrading LSD from A to B.

    He said: "There are several drugs that are in class A and probably should not be there, like ecstasy and LSD. There are other drugs that should be up the scale.

    "Ecstasy and LSD which tend to cause little dependence and relatively moderate degrees of personal damage are probably too highly classified."

    LSD is ranked as a class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The maximum penalty for supplying the drug is life imprisonment.

    Prof Nutt, who took over as chairman of the council last November, went on to call for a major overhaul of the drugs classification rules in Britain.

    He said: "I think it is time to have a complete review of all the drug laws. And I would like to have that in the UK."

    Prof Nutt said he was content that drugs like "heroin, crack, cocaine and metamphetamine pure" should remain as Class A drugs.

    He told Radio New Zealand: "It is quite hard to move drugs out of classes. In the UK we have has these class system now since 1971.

    "Only one drug has ever been moved down a class and a couple have moved up. Cannabis moved down and opiates moved up."

    Prof Nutt said that if alcohol emerged as a substance in modern Britain it would be classified as an illegal Class B drug.

    He said: "If alcohol was suddenly to emerge in society now and it was suddenly assessed as other drugs of abuse it would be rated as a B class drug and therefore not be made legal."

    The Daily Telegraph disclosed last week how Prof Nutt had written in an academic journal that taking the drug was no more dangerous than an addiction to horse riding.

    In the House of Commons on Monday, Jacqui Smith told MPs that his comments sent the wrong message to young people about the dangers of drugs.

    She said: "I made clear to Prof Nutt that I felt his comments went beyond the scientific advice that I expect of him as the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs."

    By Christopher Hope
    Last Updated: 10:49PM GMT 10 Feb 2009

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  1. Synesthesiac
    Well done prof Nutt, lets keep the truth shining through. Sense will provail over dogma! Nutts level-headed fact based approach gives me hope that drug laws can be reformed for the better. Lets hope the advisory council will endorse his statements in the near future, instead of slightly distancing themselves from them.
  2. entheogensmurf
    LSD assisted psychotherapy would be rather sexy.
  3. papel
    the best news i have read for a long time, hope it happen lol
  4. Toma
    The first time I've heard LSD pop up in the drug decriminalization debate. How did this guy manage to get in an official position? Especially after he had already made these comments? In other countries he would not have been allowed to.
  5. Alfa
    Many people with similar views are in such positions. However, they normally need to reckon with the political climate, (inter)national relations/pressure and realistic possibilities. There often is a strong conflict between the goals of health officials and justice officials. Justice often keeps pressure on health departments and counters incentives as the above. The topic of liberal drug views & legalization seems to have the political touch of death. Advertising such opinions seems to lead to the media and hard liners killing a political career.

    It seems as if honesty and idealism, mostly do not go together with politics at all.
  6. sgurrman
    :mad: Two days ago the boss of my wife's sister was killed in a car crash, and the guy she worked with most closely was seriously injured. The driver of the car causing the accident was drunk. Amongst the shock, I have had cause to reflect. Despite the needless loss of yet another life in its prime, there will be no calls for motor vehicles to be made illegal in case they end up in the wrong hands. Neither will anyone demandt that alcohol be declared a banned substance. Contrast this with any accident involving a psychedelic, when the politicians will be queuing up to condemn these dangerous substances.

    This inconsistency shines through in many threads on Drugs Forum, and is clearly so great that we need to conclude that there is something else going on here. The wilful and continued refusal of mainstream politicians in the UK to take notice of a stream of reports on psychedelics and ecstasy suggests ignorance and denial which is gigantic even by the normal standards of politics. If there is to be any serious change in the legal staus of such substances, I think we need to get to grips with the fear/terror complex that has our legislators in its thrall. What is this 'something' preventing anything approaching a rational state of affairs regarding psychedelics?

    I have struggled long and hard with this subject, considering Jungian perspectives among others. The only conclusion I have reached, however, is one akin to matters 40 years ago, when the country's President declared Timothy Leary to be the most dangerous man in the USA. There is a visceral fear of the effects that psychedelics are imagined to have on a person's mind and their perception of life. Western-type cultures are based on assumptions of scientific materialism, the supreme values of personal ambition and economic growth. They are totems to the supremacy of the ego and separate selfhood. Everything, I may add, that is outworn and outdated, and which provides no answers to current human and planetary predicaments. And, though not understood by politicians and the like, psychedelics represent the main threat in existence :cool:to these values enshrined in western culture. I suggest that our politicians sense, unconsciously maybe, the threat that psychedelic experience can pose to their values, their life basically and raison d'etre in this world.

    This is the only reason I can come up with for the extent of irrational hostility to LSD and other psychedelics. As I said, without some understanding of the oppositon, I feel we are ill-equipped to move things on.

    The question of western cultural values and the threat to their supremacy is discussed in classics such as 'Food of the Gods' by Terence McKenna and 'Green Psychology' by Ralph Metzner, both in the context of shamanaism and Archaic Revival.

    In the meantime, if anyone has bright ideas on the 'why' of the political stance, please share it. Or if there are other threads dealing with the matter in depth, please point me in the right direction.
  7. Jatelka
  8. sgurrman
    Thanks for the link, Jatelka. It's actually quite a good article - using a fun, if:) slightly professorial, sense of humour to make a serious point. I might get a picture of the guy for my bedroom wall (OK, maybe not.....)
  9. cra$h
    want to know why psychedelics are illegal? People like Tim Leary going around teaching people to live the world as it was meant, and the governement would lose money off this. It always boils down to money. Alcohol's legal because the government makes billions, and then when the drunks fuck up, they make more through fines, car mechanics make money from crashes, it's all a greedy cycle. LSD teaches people that money is optional, and people don't waste money on lsd, unlike alcohol.
  10. Synesthesiac


    HAHA! Brilliant. What a guy. And published in a reputable journal too.

    What can the govenment say to a peer reviewed scientific paper like this? Just ask for them to appologise for telling the truth. How utterly pathetic!
  11. sgurrman
    O.K., so it's not very noble to take pleasure in someone else's downfall. Still, I couldn't help but think 'great' when Jaqui Smith announced she would be standing down as U.K. Home Secretary after the European Elections this week, under a cloud of bad shit. If you believe in karma and that kind of stuff, it could be said that the shabby way she treated Prof Nutt was seriously bad karma, and she's got the rebound now.

    She's the last in a long line of discredited Home Secretaries. There was Charles Clarke, who consigned magic mushrooms to the same level of drug as heroin, thereby saving the world. He too went down the political plughole, unfortunately too late to save Ms Psilocybin. We can always live in hope of a more enlightened Home Sec, but don't hold your breath. The current administration is way beyond redemption in all respects.:applause:
  12. Lysergicaciddiethylamide
    GO Prof.Nutt!!!!!! :) :) :) we love you
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