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Experts Advise Downgrading Ecstasy ::

Reported by Tristan Ingram on December 3, 2007


Top government adviser Professor David Nutt issued another call for ecstasy to be downgraded from Class A to Class B this week, suggesting its ranking alongside Class A drugs cocaine and heroin is ‘an anomaly’.


The highly respected Home Office approved drugs expert, who heads up the independent Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drug (ACMD), previously called ecstasy ‘unquestionably non-addictive’ and ‘relatively safe in the short term’ in 2004, adding ‘as each year goes by, I get relatively more sanguine about the risks, rather than less.’


His comments at the time prompted the Guardian to point out ‘though the authorities prefer not to make the comparison, roughly 20 deaths a year ranks ecstasy alongside electric blankets in a list of Britain's biggest killers’, though Professor Nutt’s latest comments are unlikely to affect Government policy.


Speaking about the experts’ ecstasy findings last year, drugs minister Vernon Coaker said he’d look at their recommendations though stressed ‘whether we then act on it will be a matter of political judgment’. (BBC)


12 months on, an unnamed Home Office spokesman was even blunter, declaring "We will consider the Advisory Council's advice carefully, as we do for any advice it provides. However, the Government has no intention of reclassifying ecstasy." (The Standard)


As well as making ecstasy class B, the ACMD also debated the increasing popularity of anabolic steroids, the Guardian reported this week, with tens of thousands using the muscle building chemicals.


"They do it because they want to be in boy bands and get girls," Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of the drugs charity Turning Point, told the paper.


Jonty Skrufff (