British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is in the center of a controversy over the use of the drug ecstasy. An Advisory Council recommended that it be downgraded from a class A drug but she over ruled their advice and made clear it remained where it was as a class A drug. Professor David Nutt of the Advisory Council was told by the Home Office that its scientific evidence indicates that ecstasy poses a significant public health issue. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) disagrees and does not believe ecstasy is anywhere near as dangerous as heroin or crack cocaine and should be downgraded to a class B status along with cannabis. This is the second time Smith has gone against advice of the group and last year disagreed with its advice about cannabis.
The ACMD report claims there are few adverse physical and mental health effects posed by ecstasy and reports only indicate at most it has caused the death of about 30 deaths a year. After all, in the United States over 40,000 die in automobile accidents each year but cars keep on being driven. Isn’t it time to allow individuals to make decisions regarding their drug use?