New UK Drug Czar Said Cannabis Should be Legalized

Professor Les Iverson, a retired pharmacologist, has in the past mirrored Professor Nutts comments that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco and even called for the drug to be made legal.

He said: “Cannabis should be legalised not just decriminalised because it is comparatively less dangerous than legal drugs alcohol and tobacco.”

Yesterday Professor Iverson played down any potential clashes with Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, by suggesting the debate had moved on – and that he had changed his mind since his speech at a dinner in 2003 hosted by the Beckley Foundation, a charity in favour of regulating rather than banning drug use.

He said: “I don’t remember saying that, it’s certainly not my position now. That was a view I had in 2003 and a great deal has happened since then.
“We have now to confront the more potent forms of cannabis. We have the new evidence that arose since 2003 linking cannabis to psychiatric illness.
“I think it’s quite free for a scientist to change his mind when faced with new facts.”

Prof Iverson, who has sat on the committee for five years, said much more active attention was currently being paid to so-called legal highs such as mephedrone.

“I’m not the drug adviser to the government, I’m a spokesman for a large group of people on the advisory council, only a few of whom are scientists.”
In October, Mr Johnson sacked Prof Nutt for “crossing a line” into politics. Prof Nutt, who is setting up a rival think-tank, said he was simply reiterating scientific fact.

Five other members on the panel subsequently resigned in protest and have yet to be replaced.

Professor Colin Blakemore, the neuroscientist, said Prof Iverson, a friend and former colleague, was conservative by nature but nevertheless shared the same views as his predecessor.

“I see no reason that Les Iverson’s view on ecstasy deviates from the conclusions of the ACMD in that it should be classified as B rather than A.
“Similarly on cannabis that should have remained at C rather than being downgraded.”

In the weeks that followed Prof Nutt’s sacking, the home secretary tried to smooth over the row by making a number of concessions to his drugs advisers.
Mr Johnson agreed to write to panel members to explain any decisions that went against their advice.

He also said he would not prejudge decisions on drug classification ahead of the committee issuing advice.

– Article from The Telegraph.

Comments

12 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    Israel reveals fears of non-violent activists, international boycott and the Zapatistas
    This article on the imprisonment of Palestinian human rights activists, reveals Israel’s fear of non-violent activists, an international boycott and the Zapatistas. It also speaks of Elbit Systems, Israel’s defense contractor. Elbit is the border wall/surveillance contractor at both the Apartheid border wall of Palestine, and at the US/Mexico border wall by way of a subcontract with Boeing.

    ISRAEL RELEASES PALESTINIAN BOYCOTT ACTIVISTS
    The Media Line
    http://www.themedialine.org/news/print_news_detail.asp?NewsID=27721

    International campaign ends in release of two prominent Palestinian activists.
    Excerpts:
    A prominent West Bank activist said by Palestinian groups to be the first Palestinian imprisoned for promoting an international boycott of Israel has been released after being detained by Israel for over 100 days without charge. Mohammad Othman, a 34 year old resident of the West Bank village of Jayyous, was released Wednesday after 113 days in Israeli custody.
    Palestinian advocacy groups believe Othman to be the first Palestinian imprisoned solely for advocacy of the international boycott movement against Israel. “I was interrogated every single day for 75 days from 8am until 6.30pm and sometimes until midnight,” Othman told The Media Line. “The entire time I was held in isolation. Physically they did not touch me, but it really damages a person to be in isolation. They also played all kinds of games, telling me they will arrest my brother, my friends and the journalists writing about me.”
    Despite being a legal resident of Jerusalem entitled to legal rights similar to those afforded to Israeli citizens, Juma was processed in Israel’s military court system in the same legal procedures used by Israel for West Bank Palestinians like Mohammad Othman.
    “This experience made it much clearer to me how much the non-violent Palestinian movement freaks them out,” Juma told The Media Line. “They see how our movement is opening the eyes of the world to the oppression of the Palestinians and they are determined to stop it but they don’t know what to do. They can’t call us terrorists so they bring people like me into jail without any real legal way to charge us.”
    “They accused me of incitement and contact with terrorist organizations,” he said. “It’s so silly they even accused me of contact with the Zapatistas [laughing]. I told them ‘Do you think that when I meet 60,000 people at conferences I ask everyone there ‘Do you have a problem with Israel? Are you part of a terrorist organization?’ In the end they dropped it of course and didn’t charge me with anything at all because none of it made any sense.”
    Read article:
    http://www.themedialine.org/news/print_news_detail.asp?NewsID=27721
    By Benjamin Joffe-Walt on Thursday, January 14, 2010
    so if your goverments do these things that are bad? and you dont stop them, what does that say about you? Now it our turn to get you, and of course your flase goverments too! go home evil europeans while you still can?

  2. Caber1 on

    It is just so sad. Just wait until the government is done with him and the next dickless wonder/mouthpiece is in office and then this Iverson will flip flop again saying how wrong he was blah blah blah.
    They all make me sick.

    Nutt is more of a man than all those politicians put together.

  3. From the 70s on

    It is kinda like our NEW Solicitor General Kash Heed. He switched sides too when he became a Politician.

    I used to have a lot of respect for him. Now I know he is worst than those who were always against pot (with their ignorance).

    The harm these people do to our society is just immense.

  4. boris on

    Yeah, because alcohol related crime is just statistics to them….

  5. Anonymous on

    I bet you they offered him cash or a hooker, that always works, psychiatric illness my ass, what about alcohol shrinking your brain?
    last I heard Cannabis actually stimulates the growth of new brain cell in the hippocampus, they found a skeleton in his closet, and told him to do as told, nothing new for the government to use black ops.
    He does not remember what he said in 2003 about Cannabis in a public forum in front of people? what is he drinking?
    We know they were looking for someone they could use as a mouth piece, I am sure they offered him something sweet.

  6. Paddy on

    This is a shame, I read the headline and thought “great, someone else with more than a half ounce of sense!” but I suppose he cares more about retaining his position as head of an advisory panel than ending this ridiculous and quite unscientific arbitrary reign of prohibition.

    But anyway, what about the Labour MP’s niece who murdered her lover because he couldn’t get an erection? She had over 6g of alcohol in her system and claims that she can’t remember anything except the knife going in.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6983673.ece

    If her bloodstream had contained any trace of THC I’m sure the papers and politicians would be having a field day screaming “OMG Reefer Madness!”

  7. BC_Budman on

    I guess when you become a Drug Tsar you forget that potency claims are bogus (we’re all smoking sensemilla now) and the fact that alcohol is four times more likely than cannabis to trigger schizophrenia. Iverson has no compelling scientific basis to make his claims.

  8. Anonymous on

    What else is new ?

  9. Anonymous on

    And so the battle rages on…….