The father of pop star Lily Allen will be shown taking ecstasy as part of an upcoming Channel 4 documentary.
Musician and actor Keith Allen, who openly admits to having used drugs in the past, is one of several individuals who has reportedly taken the drug and been observed for the controversial programme.
Julia Manning, Chief Executive of the 2020 Health think-tank, criticised Channel 4’s claim that the programme would be a serious and scientific discussion of recreational drugs.
She stated: “The first two words that come to mind are reckless and pointless. We are fully aware of the effects of Class A drugs on the body.
“This will achieve nothing. If anything it will ‘celebritise’ the taking of illegal substances.”
And Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of drug and alcohol treatment charity Addaction, said he hoped that the programme would give an insight into how all drugs can cause problems.
He warned that there is a danger the show will be “ultimately unrepresentative of some of the wider realities of drug taking”.
Supporters of the programme have claimed that the show will be “balanced”.
When speaking to the Daily Mail, a source inside Channel 4 indicated that the programme would be ethical and reflect all points of view.
“This is a serious scientific documentary and we want it to be a balanced project”, said the Channel 4 source.
Mr Allen dismissed the contention that the programme would glamorise drug usage.
He said: “If you think that I’m glamorising the taking of drugs by spending an hour and 20 minutes for two consecutive Mondays in an MRI scanning machine then you’re insane.”
There has been a recent push from some circles to soften British drug laws.
The Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recently stated that the penalties for young people caught with cannabis ought to be lowered.
The previous Chairman of the committee was kicked out after claiming that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis. Professor David Nutt is now one of the researchers conducting the study for the Channel 4 television programme.