Professor David Nutt, from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, has been sacked by Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, for complaining about the way that the cabinet ignored the scientific evidence in coming to their conclusion to re-classify cannabis as a Class B drug. What I find sad about this is that what could have been a useful debate, based on scientific facts, moral judgment and social imperatives has descended into the politicians wielding their power and slapping down the scientific officer who, it seems, feels honour bound to express the evidential truth. It seems to me that democracy has been broken when the powers that be try to hide the truth!
Of course, the scientific evidence isn't the be all and end all of debate. It may even be interpreted in different ways (though I don't think that is the case here). And there are many other factors that effect drugs law: for example the ability of the police to test for driving under the influence; income streams that boost organised crime; the slippery slope towards harder drugs; and the message that smoking cannabis is not good for your health.
Interactive Democracy - or any debate - is best served by the truth. The scientists have a very valuable contribution to make and anything that discourages their honourable efforts, stifles democracy its self.