In 2009 the UK government’s chief drug adviser, Professor David Nutt, claimed that the chance of experiencing psychotic illness as a result of consuming cannabis was “relatively small,” perhaps one in five thousand; “overall the mental health risks of alcohol and cannabis are not dissimilar.”(1) He was saying nothing new: in 1969 an earlier official inquiry into the effects and legal-classification of this drug, the Wootton Report, similarly declared cannabis to be “less dangerous than alcohol.”(2) That committee added: “There is no evidence that this activity… is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis requiring medical treatment.” Every subsequent governmental inquiry has come to the same conclusion and met the same fate, being “greeted with a chorus of abuse from politicians…”(3) In David Nutt’s case, he was sacked: the Home Secretary told him, “I cannot have public confusion between scientific advice and policy and have therefore lost…

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