Former drug advisor to Britain’s parliament, David Nutt, claimed the risky banking that led to the country's recent financial crisis was caused by bankers’ excessive cocaine use.
Nutt, a psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist, told The Telegraph that cocaine caused bankers to be “overconfident” and thus they “took more risks.”
He said cocaine was a part of their "culture of excitement and drive and more and more and more."
“Bankers use cocaine and got us into this terrible mess. It is a 'more' drug," he added.
Nutt, 61, is well known for his criticism of "irrational" drug policy that he believes does a disservice to the public health and hinders research. Nutt was fired as Britain’s top drug advisor in 2009, when he became critical of government policies that limit research into Schedule I substances. Home secretary Alan Johnson said Nutt would have to go after he made comments about ecstasy use being safer than riding a horse.
Nutt claimed that bans on drugs like cannabis, ecstasy and magic mushrooms make it nearly impossible for researchers to study the drugs. Scientists must spend a large sum of money on a license or risk attaining the drug on the street.
Without drug research, Nutt argues, there will never be a rational approach to drug policy.
“Regulations, which are arbitrary, actually make it virtually impossible to research these drugs,” said Nutt at a book launch in 2012. “The effect these laws have had on research is greater than the effects that [George] Bush stopping stem cell research has had because it’s been going on since the 1960s.”