The drugs Ecstasy and LSD should be downgraded from Class A to Class B, according to a scientist who advises the Government on drugs law. Professor David Nutt, chairman of the technical committee of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs ( ACMD ), said that Ecstasy’s presence in the same category as heroin and cocaine was an anomaly that should change.

He told MPs yesterday: “I think MDA, LSD and Ecstasy problems shouldn’t be Class A.” MDA, also known as the love drug or the hug drug, is a mind-altering drug similar to Ecstasy.

Mr Nutt said, however, that there was a possibility that barbiturates could move up to the Class A category.

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, the chairman of the ACMD, confirmed that a review of Ecstasy’s legal status was under way. It would include a close look at whether more could be done to reduce the harmful effects of the dance drug, which is taken by an estimated 500,000 people a week.

Vernon Coaker, the Drugs Minister, told the all-party Science and Technology Committee that the Government would examine any recommendations from the ACMD. He refused, however, to guarantee that he would act on any suggested reclassification.

Mr Coaker said: “If the ACMD look at a drug and come to us with a recommendation, of course we will look at it. Whether we then act on it will be a matter of political judgment.”

Source: Times, The (UK)
Author: Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

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