back to article Gov decides not to have scientific advice on drugs any more

The coalition government is ditching the requirement to seek scientific advice before setting drugs policy. As part of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 government must take, or at least listen to, advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. That committee needed to have at least six scientists on it. But police …

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  1. Ian Yates
    Thumb Down

    Marvellous

    Now they can continue setting policies based on Daily Mail and Sun readers' "opinions".

    Afterall, who cares about scientific evidence on how drugs affect us, when people can just scream about their personal ancedotes and be believed even more?

    Time for a scientific strike?

    It'll all end in tears.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Marvellous

      I like the idea of a science strike. Just think: No gravity, Newton's third law, or mass-energy equivalence for a day.

      "Sorry I can't come into work today - I'm pinned to the ceiling and my legs don't seem to have the 'push' they usually do".

  2. LinkOfHyrule
    Joke

    Yeah, sod the scientists!

    The new committee is made up of actual stoners and Daily Mail readers!

  3. Semaj
    Thumb Down

    Not surprising

    They never listened to them anyway.

    And since when did the government ever care whether what they were proposing made sense? Nah it's much easier to allow the tabloids to decide what the government should do. At least then the proles will be happy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm a Prole -

      And I'm not happy.

      Both with Governments who are, or at least appear according to the meja to be, driven by a populist approach to appeasement when the should have a bit of courage and with 'Scientists' who appear to believe that just because they think that the 'peer reviewed' evidence they have created shows something that they believe is valuable they should be given a preferential hearing.

      I like scientists, they're nice people and talk a lot more sense that politicians a lot more of the time but they are one group. If the Government isn't going to take notice of them then they can take their ball home but if it is that important then others will surely join the battle...?

      Or maybe the Mandelsons, Campbells and Coulsons have done in intelligent, informed debate?

      1. thecakeis(not)alie
        Badgers

        Peer reviewed evidence should be given a preferential hearing.

        Especially when the other side of the debate is the loud grating shouting of the instinctually hive mind. "Listen to us" they bellow! "We have these words that are an interpretation by our religious leader of some words interpreted by another religious leader and so on down the centuries! According to my personal interpretation of this long chain of previous interpretations, being happy for any reason is bad, evil and wrong! Drugs are bad! Sex is bad! Everything is bad except the worship of my personal flavour of chocorific, candy-coated $deity!"

        The difference is between people who are taught to question everything and those who are taught to fear everything. If you question everything you try new things out. You test them, you play with them, take them apart and see how they work. You attempt to and sometimes succeed at understanding new things and how they work.

        The other side is nothing more than instinct and emotion. The loudest and most emotive individual gets to represent the hive-mind. There is no evidence…only emotion. “Evidence” presented here is almost always some quote taken out of context, numbers read from raw data without understanding or simply outright lies made up in order to prevent anything new from having to be coped with. It’s fear, more fear, additional fear, being told to be afraid and then some extra fear. To add to the benefit we’ll go to “condition red! Shit your pants it’s terrists BE AFRIAD” to generate some fear.

        Peer reviewed evidence is actual EVIDENCE. This is why it should be given a preferential hearing. The key is the falsifiability of scientific evidence. Scientific evidence has been poured over, pondered, tested and the process repeated until a consensus is reached. A scientific experiment can be reproduced if you choose. You can test the results for yourself. The methods are documented, if you contest the results then go perform the same experiment under the same conditions using the same methods and see if you get different results.

        What it seems you are trying to imply is that people who shout their uninformed and emotional reaction the loudest should be given exactly the same consideration in the creation of government policy as scientists who take the time to back their advice with evidence derived from reproducible experimentation, studies and statistically relevant surveys.

        Frankly, my emotional reaction is “that’s just ****ing nuts.” In fact, I’d go so far as to use that as the basis for a scientific hypothesis. I propose that there is probably an detectable difference in the function of the amygdalae in homo sapiens sapiens who prefer emotive reasoning over deductive reasoning. To test this I propose we take a random sampling of folks, shove them in an MRI and then read them Daily Mail headlines. We pay close attention to how the amygdalae react. We combine this with some very deep surveys on their political viewpoints and see if there is any correlation.

        If we find correlation, we can see if there are maybe other parts of the brain that work together to influence political opinion. How much is genetic? How much is socialisation at early stages? How much is modifiable versus hard-coded at an early age?

        I should write my MP. I must remember to be loud and emotive, (it's what seems to get results.) It’s science worth funding...

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    So where do they get policy from then ?

    Bottom end of a beer glass, the Daily Mail, or a church of England mythologist ?

    I suspect the second, but the third would just just as bad.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Sir

      Where did they get it from before? 'Coz they sure as hell didn't base it on previous scientific reports*

      I think they have at least gone one step in the right direction and basically admitted they're not interested in the facts. That's something to fight against if you disagree. I mean, if you're a subject matter expert and an idiot seeks your opinion and you give it, it's hardly suprising you'll get pissed off if they keep on ignoring it just because it doesn't meet with their ideological propoganda. It would certainly piss me off.

      *unless they just do the opposite all the time

    2. despicable me
      Unhappy

      Where do they get policy from

      I believe they had a already recruited a new policy advisor, but the psychic octopus died before he could take up the post.

  5. adnim

    Makes sense.

    When in a position of power why allow that position to be undermined by evidence or fact?

    Government is to be praised for removing our right to choose and protecting us from ourselves.

  6. sandman
    FAIL

    Part of a pattern?

    So, very few health experts to advise on public health, but a large contingent from the food and drink industry and now no scientists on the drug advisory committee. Perhaps they can be replaced with people from the tobacco and booze lobbies?

  7. Velv
    Big Brother

    Groucho Marx

    "Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others."

    Another example of "Government" making policy on vote winning instead of what is in the best interests of the public.

    1. IT veteran
      Unhappy

      PR

      And you expected anything different from an ex PR man as PM?

      Seems like the US ambassador saw through Cameron before the election (as did many people here, but, alas, not enough) as caring only about winning votes, not having princples.

      I wonder if there are any embarrassing quotes from Tories/Libs from around the time Johnson fired Nutt? Could be interesting to dig them out...

  8. MikeyD85
    Thumb Up

    I think this is a good thing

    After all, why waste money to ignore a damn good and reasonable scientific argument when we can just make things up with no knowledge at all?!

  9. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Shooting the messenger

    Just what we needed - another committee of, so called, experts who are able to confirm the minister's preconceived ideas, without actually having to provide any facts that could actually be challenged.

    "All lies and jests 'til a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest" - Paul Simon (The Boxer)

  10. envmod

    fuckin' magnets

    "I don't wanna talk to a scientist / Y'all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed"....

    since when did ICP start influencing cabinet policy?

  11. Steve 13
    Thumb Down

    email your MP

    If you think this is the wrong thing to do, do something about it

    http://www.writetothem.com/

    Okay, it may not work, but at least you'll have tried.

    1. KeGoMacK
      Thumb Up

      RE email your MP

      Good idea. I keep forgetting about this. I have just written to mine.

  12. Arnie
    FAIL

    Nothing has changed

    Bang the 6 million tax paying pot smokers up, let them default on mortgages and credit. Break up their families and revoke their assets.

    Or, tax and regulate the sale of cannabis. Use the money to fund our schools and health system. Allow medi users to grow their own easing the burden on the state (sorry big pharma we can see right through your sativex bollocks) NHS.

    Massive fail from A-Z

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No title reqd

      I have no idea why this was down-rated.

      Why are people against this? The whole reason that people are against cannabis is down to the plant its self being a cheep alternative to other materials produced (paper, rope, etc) and so was lobbied against. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States#DuPont.2C_William_Randolph_Hearst.2C_and_hemp )

      Legalise it and tax it, take something that drains money away and out of the country and turn it into something that generates cash for the government. Think of the amount of cash that we'd get in tax, think of the amount of cash we'd save in not having to police it, and if nothing else think of the children, a dealer doesn't care who they sell to as they sit outside the school, a newsagent however does care...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        consequences?

        while I've no strong views either way - there's been very interesting debates here in the US about legalizing pot in California, and the whole Medical use provisions) I do worry about the unknown / under-researched mental health consequences.

        With cigarettes the problem is well known, but somehow yet still in official denial... is that because of tax revenue and lobbying efforts? Will those same considerations have more weight in this discussion that reasoned, scientific data surrounding the issues of paranoia and schizophrenia that are reported? Eliminate/reduce those side effects and is cannabis better or worse than alcohol or cigarettes... and what restrictions (eg drink driving laws) should be in place to protect users and non-users

        1. Graham Marsden

          @consequences?

          The point, of course, being that those "interesting debates" you refer to require *scientific* evidence to support conclusions otherwise they're nothing more than talking shops.

          If our Government isn't going to *listen* to that scientific advice, the whole exercise is pointless.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Getting the wrong answer or just asking the wrong questions?

    Science again abused by asking the wrong questions, Instead of asking how harmful is a substance (and usually getting a truthful "less harmful than alcohol" answer). They never did ask the right questions of "can and is the substance being missused" and "will it be detrimental to the abuser" in setting policy.

    So sack the experts and give more power to those who guess.

    Govt Fail of the first degree..

  14. Richard Gadsden 1

    Evan Harris not an MP any more

    Don't give me hope like that!

    Evan Harris is a former Lib Dem MP, not a current one, sadly.

    One of the best science advocates in the Commons was replaced by a fundamentalist nutjob in May, glory be to the Great British Public.

  15. Richard Wharram

    MP?

    Isn't Evan Harris an ex-MP now ?

  16. Chris Miller

    Scientists?

    If you want to know the tensile strength of vanadium steel or the relative LD50 for heroin and alcohol, then a scientist is just the chap (still mostly chaps, sadly) to ask. But many of these advisers are social* scientists, where there are almost as many opinions as practitioners and very few of them based on real research. The social scientists that make it onto these Quangos are often those most adept at spotting which way the political/social wind is blowing.

    Hence we get nonsense statements such as "alcohol causes more harm than heroin". Well <duh>, the UK has some 40 million alcohol users compared with a few hundred thousand heroin addicts - hardly an argument for putting heroin on the same legal footing as alcohol** (or vice versa).

    * The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the 'social sciences' is: some do, some don't. - Ernest Rutherford (Baron Rutherford of Nelson) 1871-1937

    ** A good idea IMHO, but then opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Scientists?

      That's not precisely how they made the comparison. It was a bit more, um, scientific than that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        That's not precisely how they made the comparison

        it is if you listend to the Today program this morning.. and its acurate.. but the distinction that on an indiviual level heroin does do more damage, was also made. But that just proves that whats important is what you choose to present, not what a scientist says.

    2. Arnie
      FAIL

      Yeah but..............

      with 6 million (approx) canna users in the UK, where do we stand? This debate isnt about crystal meth or heroin, both of which effect a tiny percentage of the populus. Its really about E (and its derivatives) and weed, thier effects and the relationship with alcohol and cigs.

      Its about .gov.uk saying there is no medicinal use for cannabis in one sentance while allowing sativex and whats to follow to be rescheduled even though it is nothing more than a whole plant extract mixed with alcohol. Mixing a relativly harmless drug with a relativly dangerous one in the name of medicine. Its about big pharma losing millions/billions from the NHS because cannabis is actually a symbiotic drug to humans which gives the termanilly ill and not so termanilly a better sense of well being. But fuck that, just pump em full of analgesics.

  17. Lottie
    WTF?

    There's no evidence to prove it, but it IS scientific fact!

    So the gov. get told "you're wrong", they then fire the guy who says that and then gets rid of needing his ilk to consult on policy.

    I thought this happened in shitty dictatorships, not supposedly free and open countries!

    1. John G Imrie
      Joke

      I thought this happened in shitty dictatorships

      And your point is?

  18. M Gale

    Science? Pah. Blind faith and obedience? That's more like it.

    "Smith also ignored scientific advice when she upgraded cannabis from C to B even though downgrading it had led to less people taking it. Maybe we could save some money by just sacking these scientists rather than paying them to offer advice which the government will then ignore."

    I blame John Oates. He gave the bastards ideas.

    Eh, who actually believes the government on its drugs policy any more anyway? Frank? They've been losing the War On Drugs That Aren't Alcohol since the mid 1920s, and they look set to lose it for another century at this rate. Why did nobody learn from US prohibition and nearly 100 years of propaganda and imprisonments?

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      War On Drugs That Aren't Alcohol

      Or caffeine. Or [insert over-the-counter drug here]. Do you know how wrecked you can get on anti-histamines? Enough to cause traffic fatalities, that's for damned sure. It’s all about the money; who would make it and who wouldn’t. There’s only one thing I know for sure:

      Try to take away my caffeine, and it’s motherf**king WAR, baby.

  19. Miek
    FAIL

    A Tit is required

    When Scientific Advice contradicts Political Priorities, stop listening. Wankers.

  20. Dave Murray Silver badge

    No surprise

    This just proves govt drugs policy has never been about the medical effects.

  21. The BigYin

    FFS

    Policy by gut feel and popularism, rather than hard facts and evidence. Have these morons learned *nothing*? If the facts show that drug X does less harm that (say) alcohol, then that's the hard truth, deal with it.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably for the best

    All they did was employ 'experts' at huge costs, ignored their advice and went along with the 'Drugs are bad, mmmmkaaay' policy. With policies like that in place, who needs these pesky, expensive experts who research and offer impartial advice when you already know what the answer will be?

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      I think I heard the committee are unpaid.

      The new rule doesn't itself change the committee membership, it only removes a requirement to know something about what you're talking about.

    2. Code Monkey
      Thumb Up

      True

      So now they're exactly as ill-informed at a fraction of the cost. Well done Cameron, seriously.

  23. Grim2o0o

    Typical

    Haha, that's just plain brilliance all over....

    Gov: "Hey old bean, that scientist is bothering us again with those pesky facts?"

    Gov2: "Yes, they do it all the time... little do they know we're going to sack them."

    Scientist: "I have done some more research, and have come to the conc...."

    Gov: "Hold it there chap, we're not going to listen to facts and evidence anymore... and by the way, you're sacked."

  24. Scott Thomson
    WTF?

    "La la la la I'm not listening"

    Is our country being run by adults or 8 year old children?

    I'm sure looking back at history would show that governments who have decided to silence their advisors haven't lasted very long.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      @Scott Thomson

      "Is our country being run by adults or 8 year old children?"

      Is that a trick question?

      They've just had a conservative back bench MP propose putting an age certificate on *every* website on the WWW *despite* said MP knowing there are roughly 250 million of them and the relevant Minster saying he does not believe ISP's are "Dumb pipes" and thinking age certification is a *great* idea.

      If they are not 8 YO children they sure believe the world should *operate* at the level of an 8YO (or perhaps slightly younger)

      1. LaeMing
        Stop

        That is rather unfair.

        Most 8yos could run rings around most MPs for IT knowledge.

        They tend to be better behaved too, much of the time.

  25. DZ-Jay

    "The Nutt sacking"?

    I see what you did there.

    -dZ.

    1. Shades
      Thumb Up

      I'm glad...

      ...I'm not the only person to have noticed, or at least commented upon, that. :)

      It's why I love El Reg!

  26. phuzz Silver badge
    WTF?

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    I would comment, but I'm too busy banging my head on the desk.

    (I just happen to have very accurate head banging skills that enable me to type as well, ok?)

  27. david 63

    Yeah well

    drugs are bad mmmm.k

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Sir

      I have a 50 year old sister in-law who has a serious attitude problem with her 21 year old daughter when it comes to smoking pot, i.e. comes down on her like a ton of bricks - she really is anti-drugs, and being an ex-nurse she is in a position to know after all.

      That is until you know some other facts about her, like..

      1. She is addicted to codeine, so much so she can't take anything less and have it work, and she's been giving this to her daughter as well since she was 3!

      2. She's a raging alcholic and a very ugly drunk. So much so she was dismissed from her position as a nurse when she failed to supervise a junior properly when they were administering drugs which caused a fatality.

      3. She smokes 60 cigs a day, and yet her and her husband are so skint they have knowlingly eaten rotten chicken before now.

      BUT, she doesn't smoke pot, so she has the moral high ground. Nothing she has done is illegal (apart from being drunk at work I think). Fucking stupid, yes, but not illegal - and that's what seems to count.

      This is also the mentality of the government it seems and a massive, stupid, retarded, FAIL.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Weve all been there mate.

        "so skint they have knowlingly eaten rotten chicken before now."

        I know times are tough, but shopping at iceland, fuck me that's rough.

        1. SirTainleyBarking
          Badgers

          After eating a KFC

          At a motorway services on the M1 about an hour ago, lets just say there are some things that a blend of special herbs and spices can't hide

    2. thecakeis(not)alie

      @david 63

      Bite your tongue!

      Caffiene is a drug and it's GRAND. By that I mean look over there!

      *yoink*

      *running feet*

      *sound of door slamming and locking*

      MINE! ALL MINE!

  28. Red Bren
    Boffin

    Evidence v Prejudice

    Will funding for research into the effects of drug use now be linked to getting the "right" results? We wouldn't want anything undermining tabloid-based government policy...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @alain williams - very good point

    That's just what I was thinking.

    I suspect the answer is that the policy is the same as it always has been, which is that a country can cope with a small percentage of men smacked off their face, but it starts to fall to bits when large scale addiction takes hold.

    The whole "drugs are bad fo you" is a misdirection in my opinion. Sure, they often are, skunk leeches the dopamine inhibitors over time, so the evidence suggests, but I don't think the government gives a shit about the actual people. It only cares about the tax implications.

    So it sets up loads of study groups to discourage the drug world. It doesn't really care how it does it, whether they're lying etc. Truth has nothing to do with it.

    It's the amount of men who can no longer pay tax, because they're unemployable.

    The closure of the quango's an inevitable response to them no longer toeing the line, which is, people who don't pay tax are a problem, and drugs are a whopper of a creator of the tax spend, not tax receipts.

    As for the whole proposition to legalise drugs to get the revenue, and stop the crime. This doesn't work either if you've seen someone become bipolar. 1K in tax per year, times 20 milion people doesn't so much as build and run a single drug dependency department in a minor hospital.

    1. Martin 19
      FAIL

      £1k x 20Mil = £20 Billion

      You're telling me that a single drug depencency unit costs £20,000,000,000 per year?

      Do you know what *could* be bought/done/built with £20Bn of government money (deficit/debt repayment aside)?

      500 miles of new motorway

      20% of the entire NHS annual budget

      Or to look at it in terms of existing tax receipts..

      Half of all corporation tax

      1/6 of all income tax

      About the same as current tobacco&alcohol duties combined

      £20,000,000,000 is a lot of money you know.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Fail

      More people become bipolar without any help from drugs than you seem to realise.

      The whole "pot CAUSES madness" thing is a crock. But it will be believed because now we are rejecting any kind of informed scientific research.

  30. The dog ate it
    Thumb Up

    Pleased

    At least they have given up the *pretence* of taking scientific advice.

    One small step towards less hypocrisy; now if only they could combine it with a step away from idiocy...

  31. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    WTF!

    So they are showing they don't want scientific facts to get in the way of their political propaganda!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    It still seems to be an improvement

    The previous policy appeared to be "do the opposite of what the medical experts advise"

    While not ideal, removing the experts at leadt brings the chance of the politicians doing what medical experts may have advised.

  33. Cucumber C Face
    Unhappy

    Nu-Labour's enduring legacy

    Whoever you vote for the floating voter focus group always gets in.

  34. Flugal

    Oh well

    At least various bishops and religious leaders have a right to sit in the House of Lords to influence our laws...and don't forget their beliefs are based on the obviously infallible Bible.

    The problem with scienctists, of course, is there's just no hard evidence to backup what they say.

    </sarcasm>

  35. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Unhappy

    Oh no!

    We don't need all these silly useful facts getting in the way of government policy! Crikey, you start bringing facts into an argument and next thing you know stuff will get done properly!

    You voter types don't need to worry your fluffy little heads about this sort thing!

    ....

    I do love the fact if I go out in my back garden light up a "fat one" I will get a visit and caution from Pod. Some MPs son or daughter sticks the equivalent of the GDP of a small African nation's worth of Fine-White up their conk and nothing gets said!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      A visit from Pod.

      Put less in the fat ones, matey. Pod can get very nasty.

  36. jrd

    Good!

    Mark McCormack, "What they don't teach you at Harvard business school":

    "If your company has hired a consultant and you are not taking his advice - fire him.

    This is no reflection on the consultant. He may be giving you the best advice you will ever get, but if you are not following it you are wasting his time and your money."

    If we are going to have a government which thinks it knows best, and is prepared to make its own decisions, I'd rather they didn't waste our money paying consultants and then ignoring them or blaming them when the decisions don't generate the desired effects.

  37. twelvebore
    Megaphone

    Title

    To be honest, if they're going to continue in the vein they have been to date, where the influence of science on policy comes a distant third to the Daily Mail and the Catholic Church then I'd rather there weren't any scientists on the ACMD. At least then we can do away with the transparent pretence that policy is based on evidence rather than the whimsies of the "I don't like it so you can't do it" brigade.

  38. smeddy
    Thumb Down

    Irony: Daily Mail readers

    Ironically, anytime there's a cannabis-related story on the DM website, regardless of it's angle, all the commentators (well, 8/10) come down in favour of legislation... Here's one time I hope they do use the DM readers as policy-writers... :)

    But on the main point of the article, it's a ridiculous move based putely on popularity politics... and probably one that will blow up in their faces.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    licence and tax pot?

    I understand the reasons behind the call to legalize pot, but the major issue with the licensing and taxing of pot, unless cheaper than buying a half oz of weed from "big tony" then the criminal market will still be the market for 'imported' Moroccan or home grown skunk...

    Other issues will be that the legally available stuff will seriously have its strength restricted...

    The removal of having to at least listen to the scientists is wrong, they can carry on and make policy based on the daily fail and the sun with clear conscience that they didn’t know any bette.... I bet they carry on listening to the crap about global warming tho...

    beer... well why not, the nhs has plenty of livers to go around .... dont they?

    1. SirTainleyBarking
      WTF?

      Big Tony

      Will just flog non duty paid tobacco products instead, like he probably already does.

      Big crime loves cigarette smuggling as it is just as profitable as selling illicit substances, without the major penalities if you get caught bringing 200 duty free cartons of Phillip Morris's finest through customs

  40. jake Silver badge

    That should save time & money.

    "It said: "It is recognised that some policy decisions are contingent on factors other than the scientific evidence, but when expert scientific advice is rejected, the reasons should be described explicitly and publicly.""

    In other words, "My shaman said so, so it must be true!"

    That should be easy to rubber-stamp ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My Relgion...

      says its ok to consume/smoke the plants god gives us..

      So it doesn't matter what the scientist say... [insert herbal drug of choice] should be legal. no matter what. You wouldn't want to impeed me in practising my religion now would you?

      what no fsm icon?

  41. Lionel Baden
    WTF?

    what !!

    FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

    This is the last fucking straw.

    All common sense has now left the building.

    p.s. no i dont use illegal drugs. probably will start having too though.

  42. jubtastic1
    Big Brother

    Do Not Walk On The Grass.

    Just another step on the way to the perfect happy society where outside of the elite, heavily burdened with responsibility as they are, the only allowed narcotics are the ones issued to you.

    /aside where is the tinfoil hat icon?

    1. OffBeatMammal

      Orwell, Huxley, Lucas were right...

      1984

      Brave New World

      THX-1138

      and of course

      Idiocracy (not a classic book, but a scary social commentary)

  43. IdristheSweep
    Joke

    <sigh>

    It's at times like this that I ask myself "What would Jesus do?"

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Sir

      Probably spend a productive hour making a camberwell carrot, and then the next 3 hours unproductively smoking it.

      He was supposed to be a carpenters son, yet I never heard how good his tables were. He was probably stoned all the time which is where he got all his sky fairy ideas from. I doubt he could even manage a little wooden spoon.

      For those of limited humour - this is a JOKE. I'm still allowed to make fun of religious figures, aren't I?

  44. breakfast
    Grenade

    Come on scientists

    Well if the government aren't going to listen to science when making laws, surely the scientists can get their act together and switch off gravity in protest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      They can at least return the favor...

      ... and refuse to listen to the government on anything.

  45. Tom 13

    About time some of the politicians woke up to the

    Bill Murray swagger too many so called scientific advisory committees are today. Too many ideologues have gone into the sciences, especially the social sciences so they can quote his "Back off man! I'm a scientist." when somebody else doesn't agree with their ideology (e.g. the CRU email).

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    FFS !

    No wonder the state of science UK is in the total shit, thanks to politicians who have degrees in totally crap subjects such as the history of art, philosophy, economics (a laughable pseudo science) or some other skivers course.

    Oh it involves hard facts, logic and reasoning so better stick fingers in ears and go lalalalala.

    However this is all rather academic (pun intended) as our streets are so awash with drugs already and hefty police cuts coming, this is really not going to make not a tot of difference other than make politicians look like ignorant morons who don't like truth and facts.

    Now someone pass me a spliff so I can calm down.

    RIP UK Science.

  47. Rogerborg
    Pint

    This is madness!

    But understandable, since they don't have to go outside to smoke fags in the dozens of heavily subsidised bars in the Palace of Westminster, they're probably pissed out of their gourds most of the time.

  48. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Flame

    The end of NICE

    Since the government knows better than scientists, they can also abolish NICE, and get rid of the troublesome laws that require drugs to be tested before they're marketed.

    In future, treatments will be licensed because the Minister of Health thinks they look as if they'd be good for people, or maybe because they have an impressively nasty taste.

    I'm off to the garden shed to start bottling my cure for cancer.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gov funding

    Clearly the government needs to provide more funding for policy-based evidence creation in the field of drugs research, as they do with global warming, climate change, AGW, man-bear-pig... Then perhaps the scientists would say what they want them to say instead of annoying telling the truth all the time, like.....well, scientists.

  50. Arbuthnot Darjeeling
    Happy

    Are all these affirmations of the importance of expert scientific opinion

    when it contradicts your view to be equally taken to apply to global warming and climate change issues, or are armchair experts more welcome on some topics than others?

  51. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    *No* fig leaf to hide behind.

    "We took the advice of the advisory committee" ( and ignored it)

    Will now be

    "We did a survey and the top answer (to a bunch of ideas we pulled out our rectums) was...."

    They have *no* factual basis from anyone with any reputation. It's now just *their* opinion.

    And you know what opinions are like.....

    They're ignorant and now they are *proud* to admit it. That's really quite honest.

  52. Autonomous Cowherd
    Headmaster

    Excuse me, but it seems...

    That no-one is thinking of the children? What if the terrorist peados were out of their mind on weed and then threatened our freedoms!! I demand a reaction that will satify my sensationalism! I demand tighter controls! Wont someone (except the terrorist peado druggies) think of the children??

    Communism is a method of government, Socialism is a method of government. Maybe we are in the new dawning of the glorious era of Sensationalism as a method of government?

    War is Peace,

    Freedom is Slavery,

    Ignorance is Strength

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    oh well

    it's not like UK drug policy made any sense anyway. Here's a good drug policy: everyone gets unlimited drugs.

    If you made Heroin legal, I guarantee you that almost no one would suddenly go "oh hot shit I need a piece of that lifestyle" Because, yeah, squatting in a ditch, half dead, is what I always wanted out of life, isn't it?

    As with everything, there's gunna be a lot of parents wanking themselves into an ignorant rage with claims that "little johnny could get his hands on DRUGS".

    There are millions of little johnnys out there and each seems to be dumber than the last, personally I don't care if a few of them get their hands on drugs. It's called collateral damage.

    You should count yourself bloody lucky that little johnny was born in a country where fresh, safe, drinking water comes on tap at fuck all cost. Do you think everyone has that luxury? And you're worried that in the huge amounts of idle free time your son spends doing fuck all, he might do some drugs? How much do you people want out of life?

    We are safe enough now, we can stop worrying about it. Safety is antithetical to fun, and fun is a necessary prerequisite for a safe mental state. Life is all about balance, so lighten the fuck up.

    Maybe taking drugs will be the best thing that ever happens to Johnny anyway. What else is he gunna do with his life? Become a scientist? In the UK? UK companies wouldn't spare the cheese on their knobs if they thought it would somehow help a scientist.

    And you'd better be a millionaire already if you want an education worth a fuck. At which point, why bother going to school? Why not become a politician and leverage your millions to oppress everyone else even more? You'd work a three hour week, get paid the living expenses of about 2 dozen people, and none of your co-workers would notice that you are criminally incompetent.

    That's how we do it in Britain, brap.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: oh well

      Indeed. Wait there while I find some figures as to how many people take drugs and neither die nor become any sort of menace to or drain on society. I may need some help lifting them. A forklift truck, maybe.

      There aren't very many absolutes in this, which is why it's going to go on and on and on until we all die of old age. Or of drugs.

  54. Max_Normal
    Boffin

    @Breakfast

    Hey, not all of us scientists are physicists you know! Would a brief cessation of gene expression do? (Puromycin, cyclohexamide, rapamycin or emetine in the houses of parliament tea urn should do it).

    By the way, as you are probably an IT guy as you are on this site, can I point out that the printer on level 2 is STILL not working and I can't access my images from the microscopy suite server network drive.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Headmaster

    science?!?

    it's open to revision, and they don't want dat.

  56. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge
    Joke

    Climate Change Scientists

    Scientists need to study things in such a way that the data will agree with government policy. Climate Scientists can manage this.

  57. Mike 135

    real smart

    and the next time there's a meow meow (or any other such ridiculous rubbish) epidemic who are we going to ask for advice?

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: real smart

      I'm not sure it counts as an epidemic. I think one person was proven to have died as a direct result of taking it. Seventeen deaths or so were 'linked' to it, but they all involved a shitstack of other substances... often not including mephedrone itself, funnily enough.

      A lot of people took it, yes, and probably still do when they can find it. No one's dying. Other slightly different drugs have replaced it already, and will eventually become illegal, and the whole process will start afresh. I think by 'epidemic' you mean 'moral panic', where a lot of brain cells die spectacularly all over the media, but the body count stays resolutely low.

  58. Martin Budden Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Mr

    What could possibly go wrong?

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