UK & World News
Medical Chief Sally Davies 'Ate Hash Cookies'
England's chief medical officer has revealed she experimented with cannabis while she was at university.
Professor Dame Sally Davies admitted eating hash cookies several times while studying medicine at Manchester University but stopped after having hallucinations.
Dame Sally also suggested that drug addiction should be treated as a medical problem rather than as a criminal justice issue.
She has previously claimed that criminalising drugs deters addicts from getting medical help.
Speaking on BBC Radio 3's Private Passions, Dame Sally said of her university days in the 1970s: "I never smoked so I couldn't smoke joints but I did have some cookies, until on the third or fourth occasion I had hallucinations and I've never touched it since.
"And I think I understood through that what my father said to me when I told him I was going to try it.
"He said: 'Drugs decivilise you. You stop being a civilised person.'
"And I understood why so many people were against even the soft drugs. So, like the fact I do enjoy wine, I'm open about my past."
She added: "Of course it's a medical problem, I mean addiction is a medical problem, and it becomes a public health problem and then our society is choosing to treat that as a criminal justice issue."
A Department of Health spokesman said: "Drugs ruin lives and cause misery to families and communities and this Government is committed to breaking the cycle of drug and alcohol dependency.
"The UK approach is to consider drug use as both a health and criminal issue and so the CMO is not saying anything new."
Dame Sally, who was appointed as England's chief medical officer in 2010, has always stopped short of supporting the decriminalisation of any illegal drugs.
in 2009, the Government's former drugs adviser Professor David Nutt was controversially forced to resign over his views on decriminalising cannabis.
He was sacked as chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in 2009 after he criticised the decision to upgrade cannabis from a Class C to a Class B drug, claiming that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful.