The life and times of Peter Reynolds
with 51 comments
Download the leaflet here.
Please print and distribute widely.
Written by Peter Reynolds
May 4, 2011 at 1:15 am
Posted in Consumerism, Health, Politics, Science
Tagged with Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, cancer, Cannabis Law Reform, Clark French, CLEAR, Crohn's disease, Des Humphrey, fibromyalgia, Julian Pursell, Lucy Ingham, medicinal cannabis, MS, pain, Rhiannon Jones, Victor Hamilton
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Nice leaflet, it will date really quickly though.
The last page is a bit odd though and perhaps should have had a heading something like “About CLEAR” rather than “Recreational use”?
May 4, 2011 at 6:40 am
Let’s be honest Derek, the day you’re happy with something will be the day James Brokenshire sparks up up a big spliff in the Home Office canteen!
May 4, 2011 at 7:40 am
that was my morning chuckle cheers pete
May 4, 2011 at 8:06 am
Watch those dark glasses don’t steam up now! I thought you spelled your name with just one “n”?
May 4, 2011 at 8:56 am
Probably true Peter, but am I wrong?
The last page is essentially a description of what CLEAR is all about – and it’s a good page on the whole, but other than the first paragraph it’s not about recreational use which isn’t the subject of the leaflet anyway.
To be honest that first para on the last page is very duboius. I’m not sure the sentance “there is no proof at all that cannabis causes psychosis and the risk of mental health problems is tiny” even makes sense, either there is a risk or there isn’t.
Anyway there is substantial evidence for a “cannabis psychosis”, albeit a rare thing. Science, of course, never “proves” anything, it can only ever show a likelyhood of causality. To make sweeping claims like that about such a complex issue seriously undermines your credability.
One of the largest population studies ever conducted http://www.ukcia.org/research/familial-predisposition-for-psychiatric-disorder.pdf concluded:
“Psychotic symptoms after cannabis use should be taken
extremely seriously. It is recommended that individuals with a cannabis-induced psychosis according to ICD-10 criteria be treated as though the condition is a first sign of schizophrenia, regardless of predisposition to a psychiatric disorder.”
If CLEAR wants to be taken seriously on these issues it’s got to be careful about putting out glib statements like this.
Non of this undermine the case for medical use you make on the rest of the leaflet, nether does it undermine the argument for a regulated supply side, indeed it supports the case.
May 4, 2011 at 9:53 am
You will irritate me enormously Derek if you accuse me of making “glib” statements. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every word has been very carefully considered and verified
I have a direct quote from Professor Glyn Lewis (I assume you know his unrivalled credentials in the field), dated just over a month ago:
“The average risk for psychosis in someone’s lifetime is about 2%. Therefore if someone smoked cannabis regularly they would have double that risk: about a 4% risk of psychosis. In other words, 96% of people could smoke cannabis regularly and not expect to experience psychosis…important to note that we cannot be certain that there is a causal link between cannabis use and psychosis”.
It is precisely from this that the sentence “there is no proof at all that cannabis causes psychosis and the risk of mental health problems is tiny” is drawn. It’s worth pointing out that Prof. Lewis is also very much at the high end of estimates of the prevalence of psychosis. Some authorities would say that the average risk is no more than 0.5%.
There are no “sweeping claims” at all Derek. Clearly cannabis is a risk factor for psychosis, particularly when use starts in childhood. However, nearly 100 years of research has still not been able to demonstrate causation and there are many other risk factors for and correlations with psychosis. For instance, more than 80% of diagnosed schizophrenics smoke cigarettes, yet who is suggesting that tobacco causes psychosis?
Please Derek, put aside the curmudgeon in you! The picture you try to paint is unfair. All claims made by CLEAR are very serious, very carefully considered and very credible. I make certain of it.
May 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm
Peter, with respect it’s clear that you are not a scientist! Anyone can cherry pick quotes to support their opinion, I could quote Robin Murray, Jim Van Os or Zerrin Atakan in a similar way.
Indeed, to speak of an “average risk” of developing mental illness is somewhat meaningless on an individual basis in any case (faulty COMT genes for example). In other words, although on average the risk is undoubtedly very, very low, for a small number of people the risk may be very high.
But that is missing the point I’m making regarding that paragraph and the heading of the last page. The majority of the leaflet is very, very good (although as I say it will date very quickly). It puts a strong case for medical cannabis and looks very professional, all in all a welcome change from previous efforts from the LCA.
The last page describes the aims of CLEAR – the “mission statement” to use management speak – it has the contact address and so on which is what it should do.
The problem I have is the heading “Recreational use” and that first para, both are totally off topic for the leaflet and a totally pointless distraction.
Why even mention the mental illness issue here anyway? It’s a huge issue and is well worth a leaflet of its own. Such a leaflet, carefully done which takes genuine concerns seriously, would be a powerful campaign tool and as I said is a very powerful argument for regulation of the supply side. Recreational use is another issue deserving of a leaflet, indeed perhaps several.
Please don’t regard this as disruptive criticism, it isn’t intended to be. But that paragraph and the heading of the last page undermines and spoils what is otherwise a very well produced leaflet. It would be a very easy change to make.
May 5, 2011 at 7:05 am
Derek, can you tell me any politician, advocate, businessman or anyone with a purpose who doesn’t “cherry pick” their evidence and present their arguments in the most effective way! Of course I’m going to do that. What else would you expect me to do?
Also, it is not me who is using the term “average risk”. That is clearly identified as a direct quote from Prof. Lewis. It is his phrase and he is far better qualified to choose his language than either you or me.
I don’t understand your concern that the leaflet will “date” at all. Of course it will, as will any such communications material. It will be updated with new case studies in due course.
Thank you for your positive comments about the leaflet in general.
May 5, 2011 at 8:08 am
Peter, I hope and expect that CLEAR will do what it promised to do – campaign for a cannabs policy based on evidence. Real evidence is not cherry picked quotes.
Anyhow there is real, firm evidence coupled with a compasionate logic out there to support a really strong case for legal reform based on proper control and regulation which accepts the potential for harm. After all, perhaps the strongest arguments for a properly regulated supply side is to protect vulnerable people.
Regarding the vlaidity of population risks, if you happen to be one of the tiny minority of people who are at risk of psychosis from cannabis you wouldn’t be interested in any population risk arguments, for you they would be meaningless. This is an issue about individual people, because they are real people and their problems are genuine.
Despite the prohibs using this so effectively against law reform, it’s easy to demonstrate how prohibition makes the risks for these people so much greater and how regulation and control reduces them.
So much of the case for a regulated supply side revolves around the need for the consumer to know the THC/CBD ratio (potency, not strength). High CBD varieties of cannabis may even be beneficial to the very people at the highest risk from high THC strains.
Anyhow the whole issue of cannabis and mental health is far more complex than a simple cause/effect argument. Demonstrating an understanding of the complexity is an advantage to our case. You don’t do that by cherry picking favourable quotes either.
Rgeards the date issue, that’s not a problem if you can indeed update the leafelt at regular intevals. But that isn’t the nature of leaflets, which usually get printed in large numbers and used over a long period of time. Having 10,000 of these left over in a couple of years time won’t be much use.
May 5, 2011 at 9:55 am
Derek, You and I are singing from the same hymn sheet. Neither of us is perfectly in tune with the other all the time but let’s keep at it and I’m sure the congregation will follow.
May 5, 2011 at 10:15 am
I think it is a good leaflet and I will be giving them out, but I will hang fire until the website is back up and running, as the leaflet CLEARly points people to the website and it would be best if they have something to see.
May 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Thank! there very good, will distribute them and see what kind of response we get.
May 4, 2011 at 9:46 am
Cool leaflet, perfect. You even our your sources at the bottom.
I will print and distribute around Yeovil.
Damn iPhone. You even ‘put’ your sources at the bottom
May 4, 2011 at 11:20 am
brilliant,,,i say flood the place with these leaflets,,,,send me a ton and i would happily post them all round my area,for free. Fighting lie filled propaganda with this kind of thing would be quite effective i believe…counter acting the b.s. people have been fed!
May 4, 2011 at 9:54 am
First class top shelf highly professional piece, probably due to the fact derek had no input whatsoever..
copy and print them off, even though there is no “Clear” candidate this time around, nothing stopping us handing out this leaflet at polling stations.. be interesting to get some feedback too from people.. the target audience will all be there tomorrow at the polling stations..
Incredible stuff peter and I salute everyone involved in this highly credible, highly professional literature.
This standard has gone way over my expectations, it really is quite brilliant.
May 4, 2011 at 10:05 am
Cheers Lucky! Thank you for that.
May 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm
Although I am myself an advocate of having cannabis brought back to the medical cabinet, it should be made very clear that provided cannabis did become legal for medical purposes, the CBMs must never be considered for patients of a young age (see Fergusson et al 2003) or for patients with any propensity of psychotic disorders.
Contrary to what the poster states, chronic heavy use of cannabis IS associated with an increased incidence of psychosis (see Di Forti 2007).
In my personal medical opinion, cannabis does have therapeutic effects, in particular for chronic neuropathic pain, however we must always use a risk: benefit analysis.
May 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm
“Contrary to what the poster states, chronic heavy use of cannabis IS associated with an increased incidence of psychosis (see Di Forti 2007).”
That isn’t contrary to what I say at all Karolis. I recognise that there is correlation between cannabis use and psychosis, sufficient that there should be effective information, education and healthcare services in place and that cannabis should only be avaialble to adults. (These safety measures are impossible under prohibition)
What gets overlooked so often though is the comparative risk. In considering the evidence it is easy to get carried away with the possibility of what cannabis might do but forget what coffee, alcohol, energy drinks, prescription medicines, aspirin, peanuts, grass pollen, etc, etc actually do. We need to retain a sense of proportion.
May 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm
Dear Peter, thank you for your reply. I absolutely agree with you that the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis are disproportionally overlooked, and this could perhaps be corrected if we had more controlled clinical trials…
I have recently heard that Novartis have negotiated Asian rights for marketing Sativex, and this could perhaps be a huge boost for CBMs in general for the treatment and the market in the nearest fture? I was wondering if you knew any more about that?
May 8, 2011 at 9:33 am
Nice looking leaflet.
Check this out on the daily mail website no less!!!
May 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm
Erm…. cool. Where can we get them? I’d be more than happy to take a wander round wrexham handing those out. I haven’t joined Clear yet, because me & Paypal are having a dispute over e-mail addresses, but I’d still be willing to spread the word and I think a few other chaps would,too.
May 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm
Well you can easily print them out using the pdf file. That’s what its for. We’re presently negotiating over a very large print run but if you’ve got a specific proposal we could consider getting a printer local to you to produce a batch. Let me know: email@example.com
May 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm
I will speak to a guy that I believe has approached you about speaking at a meeting of politically active types here in wrexham. With a few thousand we can target the university campus, town centre & perhaps in sheltered accommodation and pensioners flats as older citizens tend to vote in high numbers and may benefit significantly from what they may not yet know is in fact a medicine.
May 5, 2011 at 11:21 pm
I am speaking there on 8th June I think. I hope you come. Let me find the link….
May 6, 2011 at 12:21 am
Aside from any other observations I have a major concern about the claim that ‘cannabis oil is proven to cure skin cancer’. Thats a big claim, one that simply lacks credibility and isnt not supported by a credible reference. Overclaiming on the medical issue like that may ultimately undermine your credibility in the debate. Making unsupported claims for cancer cures is also potentially illegal under the cancer act so leaves you vulnerable (albeit you arent selling anything).
TBH – I think the whole medical cannabis movement needs to have a much clearer model for medical supply regulation to propose, supported by a much more rigorous scientific basis for the porposed model if it has any hope of making real progress anytime soon.
May 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Steve, no one is more cautious about over claiming medicinal benefits than me. I also regularly knock back those on the “hemp can save the world” trip. I have invested a lot of time meeting hemp farmers and processors and I understand the reality. I’ve also spent a great deal of time dissecting and analysing scientific and medical research. Believe me, I’m always making myself unpopular by telling people they have to rein in their enthusiasm!
I’m sorry but you’re wrong on this. A couple of months ago I wouldn’t have made the claim but the evidence has now been published.
May 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm
the fact that there has been some positive research is not the same as claiming a ‘cure’ for cancer – even if . its not been published yet i a peer reviewed journal – its not been replicated – theres a small amount of positive research and thats all – Thats great news and demands more research but im sorry it doesn’t justify the sweeping claim you’ve made. You have to be incredibly careful with scientific claims – especially about cancer and especially when using words like ‘cure’.
May 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm
Steve, I really, really, really do understand where you’re coming from. There is no reasonable doubt that in the case evidenced, cannabis did cure the skin cancer. I concede, whether that result can be reproduced consistently has yet to be determined but it doesn’t alter the validity of this evidence.
When you look at the bald faced lies and misinformation that are regularly issued by our government, the media, healthcare institutions and even our prime minister, I am content that the claim that cannabis (can) cure skin cancer is more than fair. It is a fact.
May 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm
! Good enough for me! Hadn’t seen that before. Wow!
May 4, 2011 at 8:44 pm
well done, i am going to post it to my Conservative MP
After bombarding him with the facts, he last said to me – we will have to agree to disagree – he is an ex-wall street Banker and was a big player in the setting up pf waltersones book shops
He obviously denies science though
May 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm
I have to say it Peter, you have acheived more for the movement in a few short months than others have acheived in many years.
Keep up the good work, and good luck for the future.
May 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm
May 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm
May 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm
Think you ought to check this out, Peter:
(I don’t expect you to post it, but that’s upto you)
May 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm
I posted the story on FB two or three days ago PJ
May 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm
Yes, I watched it on a youtube link that I think phuxake posted, but I meant the LCA bit at the top. It came in an email from ‘admin’, which I believe is Alun. Surely you don’t want him using the LCA name? It doesn’t exist any more.
May 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm
Thank you PJ. He is unbelieveable. He just keeps at it, again and again and again. Very sad.
From: Peter Reynolds
To: Alun Buffry
Cc: Mark Palmer ; Stuart Warwick ; Jan Wells ; Jason Reed
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 11:41 PM
Subject: STOP using the name “Legalise Cannabis Alliance”
I don’t know how many times you have to be pulled up about this Alun but you really need to start taking it seriously.
May 4, 2011 at 10:43 pm
where can we see all the court reports we used to see on the LCA website
Is the forum still available
excellent work peter, i would like to run as a clear candidate in Shropshire – how do i go about it, I’m 44 not bad looking, fit well dressed and i know i take a lot of votes where i live
again, excellent work
May 5, 2011 at 7:40 am
Pharmacologically identical? I heard extracts and other such pharmaceutical cannabis based medicine is in fact LESS effective than the raw, herbal form. Despite the price tag.
May 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm
Nice work Sir!
Might be worth considering including the properties of hemp fiber’s and their potential in relation to the textile and organic fuel sector? Highly efficient, GREEN and viable ? Incredibly real competitors to both the cotton and mineral fuel industries. We all know the extraordinary properties of this particular plant because we’ve looked into it but, lots of people are only aware that it get folk stoned.
May 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm
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May 5, 2011 at 10:33 pm
“The truth about cannabis is CLEAR”. F’ing excellent!
When I walked to the polling station earlier, I took along my almost-new Launch Box, and had a surreptitious blast along the way:
May 5, 2011 at 11:33 pm
A good start, and certainly leagues ahead of where the old LCA campaign was, but I think you need to use pictures of medicinal users the average guy in the street would sympathise with … e.g. where is the ‘frail old lady with cancer’ (preferably snapped being escorted into court/police car etc… all the better), why show a portrait of a healthy looking victor when a full body shot of him, maybe with a walking stick, would have more visual effect, why isn’t the photo of Des showing him in his uniform and wheelchair ? maybe at a rememberance parade looking every part the hero he is? Why have you got photos of people that look so healthy ?
( yet I know what has made them so healthy but ‘johnny no-brain’ wont sympathise with what they see in these pictures )
Also, one that I think you have dropped the ball on BIG TIME . . .
Out of all the references you have used, you have NOT used any of the ones the government is trying ever so hard to try and forget they commissioned e.g. Making a hash of it, Review of the UK’s Drugs Classification system, to name a few.
The only other comment I can make is you are trying to put too much info to the un-educated in one go. You are not aiming to preach to the converted. We already know the points you are putting across. Remember you are trying to convert sheeple that have been mass fed drivel by the gutter press, using articles produced for people with a mental age of 8 to 10. As a marketing Guru (yes I’ve read your blog for quite a while so I know your background), remember the acronym K.I.S.S.
Sorry if any of this offends, but if a fellow supporter can find these faults, then a non supporter will not be too impressed with your leaflet.
My Other Posting Name
May 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm
Cheap, easy, potentially very effective activism for people who have to maintain a low profile, or don’t want to bring attention to themselves:
A few years ago I made some fly stickers, those little ones approximately 2cm x 4cm, saying CANNABIS CURES CANCER, and giving the Phoenix Tears Movie address. Others I made signposted to Jack Herer’s site to discover more about hemp.
I have just made one with the Clear logo, above which I have put “The truth about cannabis is”. I have replaced “Cannabis Law Reform” with the website address.
It’s within the capacity of most people familiar with a PC to do this. I did mine with Paint, then Open Office, which is a free word processing program, but you can also obviously do it in Word. You can buy cheap sticky labels online. As I only have a black & white laser printer, I bought bright green labels, so the image will be black on green.
The first time I made stickers I also printed some postcards, which I placed in the ‘for sale’ racks in supermarkets. Some are easier to place than others.
There is a pedestrian ramp from a car park up to a small arcade and the High Street in my town. Halfway up the ramp is a restaurant that has been closed for years. About 3 years ago I stuck a card with double-sided tape on each of the opposite windows at the side of the door. The text is highlighted in different colours, and the cards aren’t laminated. They look as good, and as legible, as when I placed them. Tens of thousands of people must have walked past them in that time, and many of those must have stopped to read them. What surprises me is that nobody has even attempted to tear them off!
May 8, 2011 at 1:07 am
I meant to advise caution when placing stickers: I suspect that you could be charged with criminal damage, ridiculous as it sounds, if caught.
But if you are careful, the sky’s the limit – cash machines, post boxes, petrol pumps, supermarket shelves, bus stops, bus stop timetable display cases (but please don’t obscure any info!), etc.
May 8, 2011 at 1:15 am
Cannabis gives reliable relief from my Manic Depression / BiPolar Disorder. I will probably end up in Jail soon as a result of my wish to privately medicate my condition.
Check out my story.
It’s time to end ignorance!
August 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm
Thank you for introducing yourself David
August 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm
Hi Peter, I’ve just joined (I can’t log in though – says cookies are disabled – I’ve tried with different browsers, but no joy). I’ve spotted you on the same tip as me round newspaper sites (I go by the name of Jack Herer). Keep up the good work. I’ll give you a bigger hand where I can when I get chance – life’s hectic busy at the minute though.
September 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm
Hey Phat Fred!!
September 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm
Hey!! Phat Fred!!
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