Mephedrone ban plans 'unchanged'
Saturday 03 April 2010
Ministers are ploughing on with plans to ban dance drug mephedrone despite the resignation of another government drugs adviser over the issue.
Eric Carlin quit the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) yesterday, saying his decision to stand down was a protest at the way the drug had been criminalised.
A Home Office spokesman said Mr Carlin's resignation was "regrettable" but added: "It does not impact on our plans to ban mephedrone and the other substances as soon as parliamentary times allows."
Mr Carlin has become the second member of the panel to quit over plans to ban mephedrone, also known as miaow miaow, and the seventh to step down after rows over government drugs policy.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson announced the drug would be banned within weeks. The legal high, which has been linked to up to 25 deaths in England and Scotland, will also be made a Class B drug.
In his letter of resignation to Mr Johnson, Mr Carlin said: "We had little or no discussion about how our recommendation to classify this drug would be likely to impact on young people's behaviour. Our decision was unduly based on media and political pressure."
Dr Polly Taylor, a long-standing member of the ACMD, quit hours before Mr Johnson announced plans to ban mephedrone.
Last October, the ACMD was thrown into turmoil after five advisers resigned in protest when chairman Professor David Nutt was effectively sacked by Mr Johnson. The scientist had claimed publicly that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous that alcohol, leading Mr Johnson to ask him to resign.
Prof Nutt said the council had been placed under "inappropriate pressure" to draw up advice on mephedrone and said: "There's been a terrible pressure to come to a resolution about mephedrone - inappropriate pressure."
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "After all the chaos of the last few months, it finally looked as if Alan Johnson might be getting things back into shape again. The decision on mephedrone was the right one, but this latest resignation suggests pretty clearly that the Home Secretary has been completely unable to restore his relationship with the experts who advise him."
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...