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Government drug advisor Eric Carlin resigns from the ACMD

Eric Carlin a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs handed in his resignation after the British governments latest decision to bring the so called ‘legal high’ mephedrone under the control of the misuse of drugs act.

Mr Carlin made public his letter of resignation to the home secretary Alan Johnson on his personal blog.

In the letter he said ‘I was honored to be appointed to this position and I had hoped that my eric carlin acmdsubstantial experience of managing drug prevention and treatment services might help influence the Committee, and thereby the Government, to think about drugs as more of a Public Health issue rather than focussing narrowly on the Criminal Justice aspects. This has not been the case.”

Mr Carlin is latest in the growing list of members who have quit their roles in the ACMD. What more would you expect when the British government continue to ignore the  expert advice given by the appointed members of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Eric Carlin goes on to say ”When, as Home Secretary, David Blunkett announced that the entire classification system would be reviewed (May I just note that although it was David Blunkett at the centre of the cannabis classification issue; it was in fact Charles Clarke who promised a review of the classification system. The report that was commissioned by him was suppressed by the Home Office, but has recently been ordered by the ICO for release to Casey Hardison of the Drug Equality Alliance. Says Darryl Bickler ), I welcomed it and was disappointed when the idea was shelved. This needs urgently to be revisited. We need to review our entire approach to drugs, dumping the idea that legally-sanctioned punishments for drug users should constitute a main part of the armoury in helping to solve our country’s drug problems. We need to stop harming people who need help and support.”

Read Eric Carlin’s full letter of resignation from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs at his personal blog

You can also read his update to the letter at where he talks briefly about cannabis ”I’ve just been working with some young people who, honestly and seriously, told me that Cannabis, with all its risks, made them feel better about themselves, more able to assess their personal agency, manage their lives and feel more hopeful about the future. My current feeling is that the ACMD, with our focus on chemistry and legality, doesn’t contribute anything towards reducing the countless harms young people like these experience on a daily basis, including though not limited to harms from drug use.”

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