Open Letter to my MP on David Nutt’s sacking etc.

An open letter to my MP on the David Nutt Sack affair.

Photo of Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry

Labour MP for Islington South & Finsbury

Morning Emily,

Since it’s all hitting the news again, thought I’d drop you a line to remind you how badly you are representing me, and pretty much everyone I know, on the issue of the prohibition of some drugs.

The government’s chief advisor, Professor David Nutt, pointed out truthfully that many of the drugs which are prohibited are not the most dangerous recreational drugs around. That many of them are less dangerous than other unprohibited activities like Horse Riding, Mountain Climbing, Driving etc.

For this, the Home Sectary has fired him. Saying:


“It is import that the government’s messages on drugs are clear”

It is clear to everyone what the government’s message is: It doesn’t care about the science, it doesn’t care about the facts, it doesn’t care about harm minimisation, it doesn’t care about the people, it only cares about redtop headlines.

The government can’t be trusted to tell the truth on this issue. That’s the clear message.

Johnson also said:

“I cannot have public confusion between scientific advice and policy”

Indeed. It’s clear that there is a massive gap between scientific advice and policy. Every person I’ve asked about the issue is in agreement: When there is a gap between policy and science, policy is in the wrong. People do not listen to a government when it’s position is contrary to the science. Nor should they.

It’s a shame that the government feels that it’s message to the youth (a lie, even an obvious lie which the youth can spot a mile off as soon as a friend of theirs takes any illegal drug), is so important that anyone contracting it, telling the truth, must be suppressed.

I think I would be better represented by an MP, government and policy which sought to reduce the harms done by currently illegal drugs rather than pursue a prohibitionist policy which it seems is deliberately designed to make using those chemical tools as dangerous as possible, both for the user and society at large.

The whole Misuse Of Drugs act needs complete revision, to bring the market for ALL the dangerous drugs (including Alcohol and Tobacco) drugs under real control rather than handing the control of the market to hippies, gangsters and organised crime.

Prohibition does not create “Controlled Drugs” it creates anarchic, uncontrolled, violent, criminal market opportunities for unethical criminals to push the use of these chemicals for their own private gain. Which is why the harder you push the prohibition, the more profit there is to be made, the more the drug pushers push back by their underground marketing of the drugs you’ve tried to control.

Every time you make it more illegal, you make it more profitable and so more attractive to those operating in the illegal markets. Making it more illegal encourages use!

You know this. The whole government knows this. Half of them have actual experience of taking drugs in their own youth. The experience of Portugal in decriminalising over the last few years backs it up.

But instead of building a sensible structure for the control of the markets, trying to ensure the safety of users and the public in general, you cow-tow to tabloid hysteria, following the same failed and catastrophic strategy of the last forty years.

This is not leadership, this is cowardice. This is not being Tough On Drugs, this is being cowardly on drugs.

I hope you’ll encourage your college to reinstate Professor Nutt, and to put him in charge of rethinking the Misuse Of Drugs act from the ground up.

Yours Sincerely,