David Nutt regularly hit the headlines as the UK’s forthright Drugs Czar (Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs), not least when fired by the Home Secretary in 2009 for his ‘inconvenient’ views. In Nutt Uncut he explains how he survived ill-judged political and media vilification to establish the respected charity Drug Science, with the aim of telling the truth about drugs.
The book describes his life, distinguished career and scientific achievements, including his research into the human brain and the effects that both lawful and criminally illegal substances (including psychedelics) have on the brain and behaviour. It also catalogues with expert precision the risks of harm to drug users and others of a range of well-known drugs.
Surveying the state of medical knowledge around various currently prohibited substances – from hard drugs to LSD, cannabis, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and poppers – Professor Nutt ranks their potential harms and benefits (e.g. in treating anxiety, depression or pain) leading him to challenge the distorted logic of a blanket ban on anything psychoactive except alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
Nutt Uncut contains far, far more about the usually hidden world of drugs, their use, abuse and role as a political bargaining counter – making It of interest not just to the many experts and others who already support the author’s campaign for a frank, evidence-based approach to drugs but also anyone who wishes to learn about what he describes in Chapter 11 as ‘more policy madness.’