Polly Quits Over Drug Folly
Cambridge educated Dr Polly Taylor sacked off her role as a senior drugs adviser this week as the government cracks down on mephedrone.
Cambridge-educated Dr Polly Taylor has stepped down from her position as a senior drugs adviser this week after the government announced mephedrone is to join cannabis and speed as a Class B drug.
Dr Taylor quit her post on an advisory committee just hours before the Home Secretary announced that the legal high was to be banned, due to its links with a number of recent deaths.
Alan Johnson laid a draft order before Parliament to approve a ban on the substance with support from some experts at the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, of which Dr. Taylor was previously a part.
In a letter to the Home Secretary, Dr Taylor, the only veterinary consultant on the ACMD, said she feared the panel's advice was not being treated independently.
“I feel that there is little more we can do to describe the importance of ensuring that advice is not subjected to a desire to please ministers or the mood of the day's Press,” she wrote.
Dr Taylor's departure could derail plans to pass a ban through Parliament and the Privy Council before the expected start of the general election campaign.
If successful new rules could be in place by April 16 but parliamentary rules require that before a drug can be reclassified the government must consult a ''properly constituted'' ACMD, which should include a vet among its members.
Several other members of the council, which has had a somewhat turbulent relationship with the government in the past, are rumoured to be considering following in Taylor's footsteps.
Prof Nutt was sacked as the council's chairman last year after he argued that the risk of taking ecstasy was similar to horse riding.
However Nutt thinks new plans, which could see those caught with mephedrone (also known as M-Cat) facing up to five years in prison and up to 14 years behind bars for dealers, “will do more harm than good”.
''I find it very difficult to support criminalisation of people who are using drugs which are less dangerous than alcohol.''
''Maybe we would allow clubs to sell small amounts of drugs, like mephedrone and ecstasy, in a safe environment, just like we sell alcohol."
''I hope that we start doing some very careful assessments of the consequences of making it illegal – we've heard already the Chinese are gearing up to make another drug.”
''We will be in the same boat in a few more months, possibly with a more dangerous drug.''
Earlier this month, The Tab exclusively revealed that around 8% of Cambridge students have taken the drug, which has controversially been linked to a series of deaths.
One Catz student told The Tab that he had purchased A KILO of the drug to sell when it is made illegal.
"I make around £100 a week from selling meph, but when it's made illegal there will be more demand for it at a higher price" she said.
Last week 24-year-old Lois Waters from Norton, North Yorkshire became the latest person suspected of dying after taking the drug.
Her death followed those of Louis Wainwright, 18, and Nicholas Smith, 19, in Scunthorpe, also attributed to mephedrone.