The morning session of Day 08 of the Trial of the Plant started with the state troopers making Prof Nutt repeat certain sentences that describe the harms of cannabis, but he quickly went on to state that when used as a medicine, the risks are substantially lowered. The state went on to highlight that certain people with certain ailments are at greater risk, putting emphasis on the perceived harms of cannabis, albeit those perceived harms are less than current legal options, even medicinally.
Nutt was asked to repeat that “cannabis will never be beneficial to people with hypertension.”
“There is a huge opportunity to innovate with cannabis”
The state asked Nutt if his firing from the UK government has changed the way he deals with evidence to which he replied, none at all.
….”I wouldn’t endorse behaviors that are not scientifically proven” and that he is in favour of an organization to test efficacy drugs in a regulated market.
“It’s not about absolute safety, it’s about benefit / risk.“ Nutt
State to Nutt: “Do you believe in scientific research?”
State went on with their unscientific interrogation by asking Nutt if he believed in scientific research, after he has been giving scientific backed testimony for 4 days now. This must have been the silliest question the state has put forth so far in the Trial of the Plant.
State: You not saying cannabis should be legalized immediately?
Nutt: I am saying it should be made available to people with a number of ailments immediately.
In the UK, there’s virtually no cannabis medicines present. Nutt explained that the UK are currently discussing how to make the cannabis plant more available to lesson the medical cost burden to the NHS, as cannabis has been proven a safer choice.
The state asked Nutt again if he is calling for full legalization of cannabis, while Prof Nutt’s recommendation is for regulated access to cannabis for both medical use and as well as recreational use. Nutt believes that state control will maximize the health benefits while lowering the associated harms.
The state troopers brought heat again to the one day workshop Prof Nutt called upon earlier, and mentioned that their interpretation of a one day workshop was worthless and to no value. Prof Nutt called this absurd, and that the one day workshop represents many researchers work for those that get together to discuss their work, albeit the workshop only lasted a day, the contributions is enormousness.
Nutt believes that a free regulated herbal cannabis market is the only way to ensure that the cost of and the harms of prohibition do not continue. He further went on to state that controlling quality, supply will help take ownership out of the black market’s hands (His research also found that the black market will always encourage people to take harder drugs).
Nutt said that the people who break regulation and laws will need to be prosecuted.
Adv. Reg Willis asked Prof Nutt where he can find additional anecdotal evidence that Prof Nutt has not presented in his summaries, trying to discredit some of his testimony and going on further to state that Prof Nutt was not asked about the ways of regulation and that anything he mentioned on regulation of cannabis was outside of his field of expertise.
State said that Prof Nutt mentioned decriminalization all this time and that his words in his summaries use ‘deregulation’ and or full legalization… Reg Willis wanted to know what does full legalization mean and why Nutt used the word deregulation?
Prof Nutt replied that making cannabis available in a form where adults who wish to use cannabis, can access it without the risk of criminal sanctions. They might still be subject to civil sanctions like being under the influence in the public.
State: “So you want regulation that requires policing?”
Another deplorable statement by the state, as if prohibition does not cost huge amounts of policing in its current form… At what cost are we continuing this?
Reg Willis asked if Prof Nutt if he is an expert on cannabis regulation to which he replied, yes he is.
“Are you here to answer questions as a scientist or a lobbyist?”
Nutt published two papers on the comparative harms of drugs, each came to the conclusion that current drug policies are not written on a scientific basis, and that the drug policy in South Africa is also not based on science.
Proff Nutt was sacked by the UK government because he insisted that the UK comply to their own laws of harm reduction, but mostly because he publicly said that ecstasy is safer than falling off a horse. Part of Prof Nutt’s work helped him and other researches realise that decisions on UK drug law should be based on evidence and effectively, the UK Government was misusing the misuse of drugs act by not following their evidence.
Reg Willis said Prof Nutt ‘waffles’ every time he is asked a question, while Proff Nutt is trying to make his point clear using clear definitions each time. In fact, it’s been Prof Nutt trying to clear up any confusion to terms used all this time.
State challenged Prof Nutt’s dismissal of the WHO report, Nutt calling this allegation a gross misrepresentation of what he actually said to which the state replied “Are you dismissive of their reports?”
Nutt reminded the state that things like caffeine should be counted as drugs with associated harms.
“Most alcohol harms come from those that drink low to moderate amounts of alcohol.”
A small titbit that Prof Nutt shared was that Britain made a considerable amount of money selling cannabis in India, to Indians back in the day.
State: For as long as cannabis been prohibited, alcohol has been legal? To which Prof Nutt replied that recreational cannabis was legal till the 1980’s in the UK.
The Reg Willis was concerned if legalization would increase consumption, to which Nutt replied that none of the legal states have shown a major increase of consumption in legal states. But despite prohibition, Prof Nutt says that there has been an increase of illicit cannabis consumption in general.
State said that Prof Nutt complained that the research of drugs was hampered by prohibition and that his contention is for the sake of science and went as far as to tell the court that Prof Nutt is a self proclaimed experimentalist, something a scientist actually needs to be to do their job…
The state asked if Prof Nutt should not lobby those who are in charge of that which affects his ability research, to which Prof Nutt replied that that is exactly what he has been trying to do for many years.
State interrogated Prof Nutt on what he has done the last 20 years to curb prohibition that stunted his research. To facilitate research, Nutt believes that the argument around drug policy needs to be more rational.
Reg Willis wants to know what else Nutt has done to lobby against the wall of prohibition to enable his research further and Prof Nutt explained that he was involved in declassifying Cannabis in the UK to a Class C.
Reg Willis asked if Prof Nutt if he wants access to all drugs, Nutt specific that yes he wants access to drugs, but certain drugs will be rather boring to research. Reg Willis is trying to determine the difference between Nutt’s personal scientific needs and his testimony.
Reg: I thought there would be some drugs that you would not want to research.”
The state interrogated Prof Nutt’s example using Uruguay as an example of a current experiment where the legal market will help take away the black market.
The state said that Prof Nutt never mentioned that Uruguay’s regulation roll out is in process during any time that he mentioned Uruguay and that their model might not be as reliable as it’s still an experiment.
Prof Nutt was asked how much cannabis is in a cannabis cigarette, and then what the UK would call that, Nutt mentioned that a spliff is between 6-10mg of THC. Nutt worked out that it would be around 0.1gram for a joint if the joint contained 10% THC strength for a avg 10mg dose.
The state asked whether if Prof Nutt personally smokes, to which Adv Don objected to a very personal question. Prof Nutt was left to answer that on his own accord as Judge Ranchod didn’t enforce the objection in full.
State wanted to know if Prof Nutt knew of any criticism of Colorado’s regulation model and on which model their regulation was based on, alcohol or tobacco. Even though Prof Nutt is not a policy expert, his work involves working with regulation in various states on a harm reduction level, and as his expertise are in that field, he does not have all the policy insight other regulatory frameworks.
State said that he was never called to deliver expert testimony on the regulation of cannabis. Proff Nutt felt like his scientific research is worth bringing into discussion in terms of cannabis regulation when looked at comparative harms with other legal drugs.
The state objected to Prof Nutt’s evidence presented to which he said its up to the court to decide whether the evidence he present in light of comparative harms is relevant to the Trial of Plant.
Allowing and encouraging people to drink, allowing advertisement, essentially denies the public to safer options of drug consumption.
The state is fearful that when one is allowed to cultivate cannabis in the pvt of your own home you can experiment beyond the state’s limitation.
“It doesn’t really bother you that the state can or cannot regulate cannabis.” In relation to state controlled quantities and speculating that Prof Nutt wants more leaway for his drug research too
What Prof Nutt expect, is that if a decision is made in South Africa on legalizing drugs, is that a commission is set up to explore the many issues to determine the nature of regulating and the extend of the regulations and the relationship to how it will be provided.
Prof Nutt says that the Cape Town judgment allowing for personal growing and use, is not ideal, but it’s better than going to the blackmarket, and that a sick person growing at home won’t be easily turn into a drug dealer.
State cornered Prof Nutt asking if he has visited the FOGFA website, and if he knows that the Dagga Couple’s case is for personal rights to use cannabis when they wish to.
When asked whether he is being biased towards the situation and if other scientists will disagree with him, Prof Nutt replied: “There are many scientists that disagree with me, but they won’t disagree with the science”.
To research cannabis in the UK, Nutt has to undergo a police check, but to prescribe heroin, any Dr can prescribe.
The state said that Nutt’s views are absurd that he wants to add more drugs in the legal regulated market, but Prof Nutt is clear on his stance that there’s more harmful drugs readibly available right now.
Proff Nutt called the state defense stance prohibitionist and that it’s fear based, and not evidence based. For many people it’s not even a fear, it’s a belief that drugs are bad and should be banned.
“Scientists have been corrupted to only research the harms of drugs.”
“People who spend their lives prohibiting drugs, don’t apply the same criteria to alcohol, people ignore the harms of alcohol, if you cared about the harms of society you would focus ton alcohol.”