NEWS

Jeremy Corbyn's Cannabis Policy Endorsed By Former Goverment Drugs Adviser David Nutt

He called it 'common sense'.

02/09/2016 17:04 | Updated 02 September 2016

Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to decriminalise cannabis for medical use has been backed by drugs expert David Nutt, the former Government chief drugs adviser.

Nutt, who was sacked by a Labour Government after calling for LSD, ecstasy and cannabis to be legalised, hailed Corbyn’s views as “common sense” after they were revealed last week.

The veteran drugs expert, who worked as an advisor to the Ministry of Defence, Department of Health and the Home Office, said he hoped Corbyn’s approach would lead to Gordon Brown’s legacy on drugs being “dispatched”.

Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
Corbyn said he'd back cannabis for medical use being legal.

Speaking at a Labour leadership debate in Glasgow last week, Corbyn said he would decriminalise cannabis for medical purposes, but that he did not support legalising recreational drugs, The Mirror reported.

“I would decriminalise medicinal uses of cannabis,” Corbyn said, adding that there “has to be an intelligent approach to this” and that he doesn’t take any drugs himself.

In a tweet on Friday, Nutt, who has held many senior drugs roles and is now a chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London, said: “At last some common sense from Labour on drug policy. About time the Brown legacy dispatched.”

At the Glasgow debate, Corbyn said he would “also want to look at supporting people who want to get out of the drugs trade in other parts of the world because there is the horrors of the drugs war that’s going on in Central America, and very large numbers of people who have died as a result of it.”

Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters
David Nutt was the Government's chief drugs adviser.

In contrast with the Labour leader, leadership challenger Owen Smith did not back any form of drug legalisation.

Speaking at the same event, Smith said: “I think that I’ve seen in my constituency too many people who’ve been hard hit by the use of recreational drugs.”

Nutt became chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in 2008. He was dismissed by Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson the following year, after sayinf that that illicit drugs should be classified according to the evidence of the harm they cause.

In a pamphlet sharing the contents of a lecture he had given, Nutt presented an analysis claiming that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy or cannabis.

He also said that horse riding was more dangerous than ecstasy, and called the Government’s approach of criminalising low-level cannabis users “beyond absurd”.

Dismissing him, Johnson said Nutt could not be “both a government adviser and a campaigner against government policy.”

Suggest a correction
197 Comments

CONVERSATIONS