Ban on recreational drugs is impeding science, says former government drugs adviser

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 01 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3936
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

People in the United Kingdom should have “regulated” access through pharmacies to drugs that are currently illegal such as cannabis and MDMA (ecstasy), a leading scientist has said.

David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and president of the British Neuroscience Association, said that the UK’s “arbitrary” drugs laws should be rewritten because they prevented people making rational choices and deterred scientists from carrying out essential research.

“If science is impeded by the law, we should always change the law,” he said.

Known for speaking out, Nutt chaired the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs but was sacked in 2009 by the then Labour government.1

He had claimed openly that LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) …

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