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Second adviser quits post over row of freedom of speech

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posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 12:38 PM
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A second adviser to the [UK] government has resigned in protest at Home Secretary Alan Johnson's sacking of his chief drugs adviser, Prof David Nutt.

Marion Walker's departure from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs came after Dr Les King's resignation.

Prof Nutt was sacked after calling cannabis less harmful than alcohol and nicotine, and saying it was upgraded to Class B for political reasons.


But it's this quote that i'm most confused with:


Mr Johnson said Prof Nutt was sacked for "crossing a line" into politics.



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Okay a brief overview.

Prof Nutt was the chairman of the advisory council of the misuse drugs (ACMD) but was forced to resign after controversially accusing ministers of ignoring real scientific evidence. The Government have then recently sacked Prof Nutt.

news.bbc.co.uk...

A video of Prof Nutt explaining how only this current government has turned all evidence and advice away from education and legal isssues concerning the decisions based on scientific research.

and some of his claims.

www.telegraph.co.uk...

and also a quote from the liberal democrat Steve Beasant regarding the sacking of Prof Nutt.


n a blizzard of farewell attacks, he again accused politicians of “misleading” the public by making decisions that go against scientific evidence and said Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, “makes completely irrational statements about cannabis being ‘lethal’, which it is not”.


So what we are seeing here is a prime example of how fear and ignorance is being used against the public and anyone who dares to question the political machine with real scientific evidence he is forced out of power. Sickening.


BUT - two advisers to the government have resigned since and Proffesor Nutt, frightengly reveals :


P... her departure "means we have no-one now looking at that vast group of people who prescribe drugs and advise people about drugs, drug harms from the over-the-counter and prescription side".



www.guardian.co.uk...

A very controversial time indeed.

Now rumours suggest up to SIX members of the (ACMD) may resign, in disgust at the decisions made against Prof Nutt.


Dr Les King, a respected chemist and former head of the Drugs Intelligence Unit in the Forensic Science Service, said that anger over the "disgraceful" decision by the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, to remove Professor David Nutt could lead to a meltdown in the 40-year-old organisation.


www.independent.co.uk...

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Thoughts on this issue very welcome.




posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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Aside from the obvious embaressment caused to the Government of Brown (which I love to see) I am hoping this causes a rational, science based and adult debate about Cannabis in the UK.

I can hope, can't I?



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


Let's all hope.

These stand up folks, resigning in support of Prof. Nutt want to watch their backs...the last scientist, employed by the Govt. and told the public what the real deal was, was found dead in the woods, after..ah... apparently killing himself..ahem.

Perhaps Prof. Nutt shouldn't have 'crossed over into politics' as Johnson put it, as an employee at least, so technically he's right to sack him.

But life isn't about technicalities is it? I always thought life was about those living it, not the institutions set up to ensue our lives run smoothly and safely.

Morals and integrity? Telling the public the real truth, over and above political and employment considerations? I'd take them any day of the week, over a 'technically correct course of action', or sacking someone for being honest.

I'd urge Prof. Nutt and his fellows to form a political party, fast. They'd get my vote. It's nice to witness a bit of honesty and integrity in the face of personal loss from the governments direction..even if it wasn't coming from any actual politicians themselves...but a scientist, and the facts.



posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 02:36 PM
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Hopefully though, if a number of people were to resign, they would be safe in numbers.

I like your idea of them forming a political party. perhaps that's exactly what we need.

Cheers for the comments.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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Couple of funny images i put together about Alan Johnson (dont know how to make them show on the page though)


farm3.static.flickr.com...


farm3.static.flickr.com...



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 09:25 AM
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Whatever happened to all these rules the gov put in place to protect whistle-blowers? For all intents and purposes, Nutt is a whistle-blower, and his forced resignation should be illegal under employment law.



Whistleblowing

The official name for whistleblowing is ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’, however it is much more commonly called ‘blowing the whistle’ or ‘whistleblowing’. It means that if you believe there is wrongdoing in your workplace (eg your employer is committing a criminal offence) you can report this by following the correct processes, and your employment rights are protected.

If you decide to blow the whistle on an organisation you are protected and your employer cannot victimise you (eg by not offering you a promotion or other opportunities your employer would have otherwise offered).

Whistleblowers are protected for public interest, to encourage people to speak out if they find malpractice in an organisation or workplace.

Malpractice could be improper, illegal or negligent behaviour by anyone in the workplace.




source

[edit on 3-11-2009 by quackers]



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 11:12 AM
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news.bbc.co.uk...


The UK government's chief science adviser has told BBC News that he supports the former chief drugs adviser's scientific view on cannabis.



Professor Beddington is the man ultimately responsible for scientific advice in government.

He said that he believed that the sacking had occurred because of a breakdown in trust between Professor Nutt and the Home Secretary Alan Johnson.


Nice to see others speaking out .



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 02:06 AM
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hello fellow truth seekers

first time posting here but long time watcher

As Professor David Nutt says in this video - "Its a bad day for science when government advisers cant share their genuine concern about the misrepresentation of science in legalisation"



Now the US wants to legally prevent advisers from doing the same thing!

Don't Let Congress Censor Discussion of Legalization


As soon as this Thursday, November 5, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee could vote on an amendment that will legally prevent some of the government's top advisers from even discussing the idea of legalizing or decriminalizing drugs as a solution to the failed "war on drugs."


org2.democracyinaction.org...



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