Professor Les Iverson, Interim chair, Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs gave a superb interview on Today this morning, just before 8am. He’s right, drug policy shouldn’t be knee jerk, but it should take account of what we know about groups of drugs as there is no way the law can keep up with all the emerging ‘legal’ highs.

We should also remember that suppliers are not trustworthy types, and the potential for contamination of products is limitless. Some of the contaminants, such as this case of a mix with manganese, have led to permanent neurological impairment. The message to the public needs to be clear, which is why we support a ‘class D’ catagory to send this message that this drug has been noted, research is underway, in the meantime it’s illegal.

We also agree however that it would be worth revisiting the classification system, not because we are certain that it needs to change, but because a review would be the chance to reassert to the public the threat to their safety, wellbeing, livelihood, family and future that drug-taking represents.


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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