30 Jun Another Anti-Cannabis Campaigner Appointed To The ACMD

I have today written to Baroness Browning protesting at the appointment of Dr Linda Harris to the ACMD. See here for the Home Office announcement.Dear Baroness Browning,

Appointment of Dr Linda Harris to ACMD

We strongly object to the appointment of Dr Harris to the ACMD. She is well known as having extremist and unbalanced views on cannabis. There is also a direct conflict of interest as she is chief executive of Spectrum Community Health CIC which receives government funding for substance misuse services. In 2007 she was quoted as making the absurd statement:

“From a mental health perspective we do need to look at the reasons behind a society that’s drifting towards depression and anxiety – cannabis could be a factor in this.”

This is absolute nonsense and has no basis in facts or evidence at all. It is in Dr Harris’ personal financial interest to promote and sustain the myth of cannabis “misuse”.

It seems that as well as removing the requirement for scientists on the ACMD, the Home Office is also determined to pack it with “yes men”. Every day that goes past reinforces the evidence that the ACMD is now a rubber stamping exercise intended to post-rationalise and justify policy that is based on nothing but prejudice. The attempt to appoint the anti-cannabis campaigner Dr Hans Christian Raabe only failed because his views about homosexuality are politically incorrect. Why can’t you see that Dr Harris’ views on cannabis, like Dr Raabe’s are just as bigoted and discriminatory?

There are other scientists whose views are based on evidence and who are not from the corrupt and self-serving drug support industry which has a vested interest in promoting hysteria about cannabis:

“Cannabis has been used safely for many thousands of years…there have been concerted efforts to demonise the drug’s use.” Professor Tim Kirkham, psychologist, Liverpool University

“I don’t think it causes mental illness. I have never seen a case of so-called cannabis psychosis.” Dr Trevor Turner, former vice president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

This is an outrageous appointment which suggests a very worrying and improper direction. Please think again before your own reputation is called into doubt.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Reynolds