Monday 21 April 2014

'The Truth About Drugs' - A Talk on the Isle of Man

Next Monday the Isle of Man Freethinkers and the Positive Action Group have arranged for Professor David Nutt to visit the Isle of Man and give a public talk on drugs policy. Unsurprisingly, I have some strong opinions on the criminalisation of drugs, and I'll try and blog some of these during the week. For now though here's the advert for Professor's Nutt's talk, which I personally am very much looking forward to attending.

Professor David Nutt is to give a talk at the Manx Museum on Monday 28th April entitled “The Truth About Drugs: A Basis for a Fair and Rational Policy?”

It was revealed last year that 40% of inmates in Jurby Prison were serving sentences for drug-related offences. And with IoM drug seizures reaching record levels (Ecstasy up 70 fold, Cannabis up 10 fold – Source: Chief Constable’s Annual Report 2012-2013) maybe we should be re -examining our policies and priorities.

David Nutt is Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, and was Chair of the UK Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). He was famously sacked by the Home Secretary for writing a paper comparing the harms of ecstasy with those of horse riding, and for publicly criticizing the Government for ignoring scientific advice by reclassifying cannabis from Group C to Group B indicating increased harmfulness. Professor Nutt has lectured all over the world on the subject of drug and alcohol policy and addiction, and his book “Drugs Without the Hot Air” has been widely acclaimed. He is President of the British Neuroscience Association, Chair of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and Vice-President of the European Brain Council.

The talk, on 28th April, is jointly sponsored by the Positive Action Group (PAG) and the Isle of Man Freethinkers.

A spokesperson said: "Both groups are delighted to have persuaded such an eminent expert to visit the Isle of Man to question and examine issues relating to a long accepted drug policy. After the talk the audience will have chance to question the speaker in what may well prove to be a lively Q & A session."

Topics to be covered will be:
How harmful are alcohol and tobacco compared to illegal drugs?
Does the “war on drugs” cause more harm than good? How does it affect legitimate scientific research into potentially valuable therapies?
What should you tell your children about drugs, and at what age?
Does prison or a criminal record do more harm to young people than smoking cannabis?
What about “legal highs”

All are welcome and admission is free, but with a voluntary exit collection

And here's an interview with Professor Nutt by the ever interesting guys at London Real - 

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