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Friday 28th October 2016

Drug adviser to government resigns

2nd November 2009

Dr Les King has resigned from the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.


Dr King said that the home secretary's dismissal of his chief drugs adviser Professor David Nutt had disallowed Professor Nutt's "freedom of expression".

Alan Johnson sacked the professor after he said that cannabis was less damaging than drugs or alcohol.

Professor Nutt had also spoken out against the raising of cannabis to a class B drug, saying that it went against scientific proof. He claimed that the re-classification had been done for political gain and "on the whim of the Prime Minister".

Dr King started his post on 3 April 2008 and was the author of a book about the Misuse of Drugs Act in 2003. He had previously chaired the Drugs Intelligence Unit in the Forensic Science Service.

Dr King stated that the council felt very strongly about the professor's dismissal.

"I'm not going to say just how many I think might resign but there is an extremely angry feeling among most council members."

"Amongst the scientists, I think a number will resign. It doesn't need the whole council to resign for the thing to stop working," he added.


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