01 November 2009

Dr Les King resigns

Leslie King spent nearly thirty years in the Forensic Science Service (FSS). His responsibilities included examining items submitted for the analysis of alcohol, drugs and other substances in cases of suspected fatal poisonings or those involving offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act or the Road Traffic Act. As a result, he has given evidence in the Criminal and Coroners' Courts as an expert witness on many occasions. Before retiring from the FSS in 2001, he was Head of the Drugs Intelligence Unit for ten years. In that role he was responsible for maintaining a UK drug seizure database, providing technical advice on the chemistry and legislation of drugs and their precursors to law enforcement agencies, forensic scientists and UK Government as well as international organisations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Commission.

Before joining the FSS, Leslie King spent eight years in the pharmaceutical industry both in the UK and in Germany. At Loughborough University he carried out research on the analysis of barbiturates and on fluorescence and phosphorescence spectroscopy leading to MSc and PhD degrees.

Leslie King is author/co-author of over eighty papers on analytical chemistry, spectroscopy, toxicology, risk assessment, forensic science and the epidemiology of drug abuse and is also a member of the Editorial Board of 'Substance Use and Misuse'. He continues to work part-time as an advisor to the Department of Health and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction on matters concerning synthetic drugs and risk assessments, as well as providing training to newer Member States of the EU on drug legislation and chemistry.


Anonymous said...

Yes I remember Les King when he worked at the Forensic Lab in Wetherby. He never met the drug users, never entered their surroundings or domains. His knowledge is purely from books and statistics. I have worked in the field of drugs misuse since 1969, on the streets, dealing with the misusers. In 1973, it was recognised then that Cannabis was harmful and could cause deformities in babies. It was psychologically addictive then. I find it strange that people like Les King have changed their opinions over the years. If he had ever seen what I have seen over 30 years he would not be saying what he is now.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that it's simply unscientific to rely on anecdotal evidence in judging the dangers of cannabis. For a scientist, politics of an issue is not evidence. I wish people would cite their source when weighing in on the issue, whether it's for or against and whether their scientific data has been peer reviewed or not. For me that's what these resignation issues are all about. The purity and integrity of science!!

Anonymous said...

A peer reviewed paper from a scientific journal would be good evidence on the harms of cannabis. Evidence starting with, 'i've seen....' is anecdotal only and concerns a minute data set. It also does not take account of inherent bias.