The Guardian Science Podcast has an interview with neuroscientist David Nutt on the science and politics of mind-altering substances and it’s possibly one of the most sensible discussions of drugs and drug harms you are likely to hear in a long time.
Prof Nutt is quite well known in the UK – largely due to be fired by the Government from their drugs advisory panel for pointing out in a scientific paper that the health risks of taking ecstasy are about equivalent to going horse riding.
Rather than doing the usual dishonest apology required of government advisors where they ask forgiveness for ‘unintentionally misleading the public’ away from a convenient collective illusion, he decided to take the government to task about their disingenuous drug policy.
He is now a straight-talking, evidence-based, pain-in-the-arse to the government who doggedly stick to the ‘war on drugs’ rhetoric that not even they believe any more.
In the interview the discussion ranges from how psychedelic affect the brain to the scientific basis (or lack thereof) of drug policy. Essential listening.
Link to Science Podcast interview with David Nutt.