Friday, November 06, 2009

MPs table motion calling for drugs policy based on scientific evidence

PRESS NOTICE: from the Parliamentary Drugs and Alcohol Treatment and Harm Reduction Group

Chair: Lord David Ramsbotham
Secretary: Mike Wood MP
Vice Chairs: David Burrowes MP, Paul Flynn MP, Paul Holmes MP


MPs table motion calling for drugs policy based on scientific evidence

MPs from the Cross-Party Group on Drugs and Alcohol Treatment and Harm Reduction (DATHR) have today tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling on the Government to base its drugs and alcohol policy on scientific evidence. The call comes in the wake of the forced resignation of Professor David Nutt as Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

Mike Wood MP, DATHR Group Secretary, said:

"Following the debacle over Professor Nutt, there is a widespread concern now that the Government is moving away from an evidence-based drugs and alcohol policy. An open debate about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs should be welcomed by the Government."
Dr Evan Harris MP, Lib Dem Science Spokesman and former public health doctor, said:
"Ignoring scientific advice and evidence about the harms and effects of a drug classification has serious consequences for public health and for the over-criminalisation of young people. The key priority in these areas must be what is effective not political or populist posturing"

Notes to Editors:

The cross-party group on Drugs & Alcohol Treatment and Harm Reduction was established in October 2008 and brings together MPs and peers from all political parties and none with practitioner organisations delivering services to drug and alcohol users.

For further comment or interview:

DATHRG Office: 020 7219 1626

The EDM reads:
EDM 2244: Policymaking on Drugs and Alcohol

That this House believes that Government policy on drugs and alcohol misuse
and harm should be based on scientific evidence; and further believes that
the failure to do so will increase the risk to public health, and in
particular to young people.

Mike Wood
Paul Flynn
Paul Holmes
John McDonnell
Dr Evan Harris
Dr Brian Iddon
Lynne Jones
Neil Gerrard
Peter Bottomley

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