The Labor government of Great Britain wants to crack down on drug users, including those who indulge in cannabis. However, the government’s own advisory board does not agree with that policy which led Home Secreatary Alan Johnson to fire Professor David Nutt, who chaired the group. Dr. Les King, another member, decided to resign in protest over the Labor government’s attempt to proceed with a policy that makes not sense. The Advisory Board has made clear increasing penalties on use of cannabis simply does not cure anything except to increase the number of people who wind up in jail. Dr. King agreed Johnson had a right to disagree with the Advisory Board, but indicated the Home Secretary increasingly has become more determined to toughen up on drugs.
The issue is what happens when scientific members of an advisory board know government policy is wrong. Should they speak up? Or, should they do what Bush advisory boards did and remained silent only to see their nation suffer?