Financial crisis caused by too many bankers taking cocaine, says former drugs tsar

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Prof Nutt said that too many bankers who took the drug were “overconfident” and so “took more risks” and said that not only did it lead to the current crisis in this country, but also the 1995 collapse of Barings bank.

He said cocaine was perfect for their “culture of excitement and drive and more and more and more”, adding: “Bankers use cocaine and got us into this terrible mess. It is a ‘more’ drug.”

Prof Nutt is not a stranger to making controversial claims about drugs. His latest attack is on the Government for “absurd” and “insane” laws dealing with magic mushrooms, ecstasy and cannabis, which he said were hindering medical research because regulations meant one of the ingredients – psilocybin, which is used to treat depression – was so hard to get hold of.

He was sacked as the Government’s most senior drugs advisor in 2009 after publishing a paper saying that there was “not much difference” between the harm caused by riding and ecstasy. Society, he argued, did not always “adequately balance” all of the risks inherent in it.

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