Now the report is out, a quick follow up.

February 11th, 2009

This is one of Alun’s comments, that simply had to be promoted to a full post:

Martin Barnes, chief executive of the think tank DrugScope, who sits on the advisory council, said it was crucial that a rigorously independent body was entrusted with this type of research. […]

Mr Barnes added that when no other drug was involved, ecstasy accounted for between 10-17 deaths a year.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7882708.stm

For comparison:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1091

Figures on alcohol-related deaths in 2007 indicate a levelling-off of the trend, following rapid increases since the early 1990s. There were 8,724 alcohol-related deaths in 2007, lower than 2006, but more than double the 4,144 recorded in 1991. The alcohol-related death rate was 13.3 per 100,000 population in 2007, compared with 6.9 per 100,000 population in
1991.

Back to the report and responses to it:

The Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales has expressed opposition to suggestions that ecstasy should be downgraded to a Class B drug.

Ian Johnston, president of the association, told the BBC the downgrade could be dangerous.

He said: This is not some academic or scientific exercise, this is dealing with peoples lives. If we downgrade ecstasy, we are in danger of sending mixed messages out to young and vulnerable people.

Last month, the Home Office restored cannabis from Class C to Class B, against the wishes of the advisory council.

Ministers are now set to resist the councils recommendation on ecstasy. […]

So, what exactly is the mixed message?
That heroin is as good as E, or that E is as bad as heroin?
That 30 deaths from an untaxed substance is bad, but 8724 deaths from a heavily taxed substance is acceptable?
That independent, expert advice is necessary, but worthless?
That arses and elbows are identical in Jacqui Smiths head?

Or that while HMG claims to know What is Right and Wrong for You, HMGs response to this report yet again only demonstrates why only idiots submit to governmental control over what goes in their body?

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