Nutt warns over more resignations


Professor David Nutt, former British chief drug adviser, has warned that more of his colleagues may resign in protest following his dismissal.

Writing in The Timestoday, he warned that the British Home Office would have no functioning drug advisory council if members were not granted independence.

"My sacking has cast a huge shadow over the relationship of science to policy," said Mr Nutt. "It seems unlikely that any 'true' scientist - one who can only speak the truth - will be able to work for this, or future, home secretaries."

Alan Johnson, the British Home Secretary, fired Mr Nutt for challenging government drug policy during a lecture in July.

Mr Nutt criticised the government's tough approach to cannabis, ecstasy and LSD, which he believes are less harmful than alcohol.

Two members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) yesterday resigned in protest. Mr Nutt warned: "It seems likely that many others will follow suit".

In a letter to  The Guardian,Mr Johnson insists Mr Nutt was not fired because of his views. "He was asked to go because he cannot be both a government adviser and a campaigner against government policy." He has ordered a review of the ACMD.

David Cameron, leader of the opposition, said advisers should be able to express themselves in a "clear unvarnished way" but always have to consider whether it has wider ramifications.

Additional reporting Reuters