Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Complaint Against Mike Hall, West Midlands Police ‘Cannabis Disposal Team Manager’.

with 3 comments

It’s becoming more common for police forces to launch publicity campaigns about their cannabis law enforcement activities.  They may be seeking to justify their expenditure or, perhaps, appease the sort of members of the public who have their Crimestoppers ‘scratch ‘n’ sniff card to hand and turn in their neighbours for growing a few plants.  To be fair, there is anti-social behaviour around some farms: destruction of rental property, theft of electricity, human trafficking, fire risks and street dealing.  These are real social harms that the police do need to deal with.  Of course they would all be virtually eliminated by a legally regulated market and the police could get on with tackling real crime.

West Midlands Police are the latest force to join up with a local media outlet to look in detail at their cannabis operations, in this case the Wolverhampton Express & Star, the biggest-selling regional evening newspaper in Britain.

Mike Hall

Mike Hall

Earlier in April a series of articles were published, all based around the ‘Cannabis Disposal Team Manager’, Mike Hall.  To those who follow UK cannabis stories he is a familiar figure who is often quoted in Midlands local newspapers.  He shares some characteristics with other police officers involved in cannabis operations, a bit like PC Adge Secker of Avon and Somerset Police, against whom CLEAR is already successfully pursuing a complaint.  They seem to be publicity hungry, truculent and rather cocky. They consider themselves as experts, when their knowledge is actually very weak, and they seem to think they can use fear, scaremongering, exaggeration and express their personal political opinions in their official capacity.

They can’t. In fact, engaging in politics amounts to misconduct for a police officer.

We have submitted a formal complaint to the Professional Standards department of West Midlands Police.

From: Peter Reynolds
Sent: 20 April 2016 14:40
To: ‘contactus@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk’
Subject: Attention Professional Standards Department. Complaint against Mike Hall, cannabis disposal team manager.
Importance: High

Dear Sirs,

1. I wish to make a complaint against Mike Hall, cannabis disposal team manager.

I make the complaint on my own account but also in my capacity as the president of CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform of Kemp House, 152 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX. For the purposes of correspondence, please contact me via email.

2. Hall has been in engaging in politics by giving interviews to the Express and Star about cannabis which amount to politicking, propaganda, misleading and terrorising the public. The interviews can be seen at these links :

Published Apr 9, 2016. VIDEO. “Exclusive look inside a mock cannabis factory” https://youtu.be/kgpUsypBjhY

Published April 10, 2016 “Sowing the seeds of drugs: The easy-to-buy items that harbour a hidden secret”: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2016/04/10/sowing-the-seeds-of-drugs-the-easy-to-buy-items-that-harbour-a-hidden-secret/

3. Police officers are specifically prohibited from engaging in politics by schedule 1 of the Police Regulations 2003 which states:

“A member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere; and in particular a member of a police force shall not take any active part in politics.”

4. I am a victim of misconduct by Hall which has caused me distress at his misuse of his office to promote myth, prejudice and propaganda about cannabis and hatred of cannabis users as a social group. I am also acting on behalf of more than half a million registered supporters of CLEAR who are victims of Hall’s misconduct for the same reasons, particularly those who need cannabis as medicine for the treatment of conditions such as MS, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, spinal injury, epilepsy and chronic pain. Hall has specifically attacked people suffering from arthritis with grossly offensive, defamatory and inaccurate claims.

5. In the video linked to in 2. above, starting at approximately 2:42, Hall says:

“Cannabis causes a lot of harm to the community. People talk about legalising and taxing it. From my point of view, I know that alcohol and tobacco are legalised and taxed but it doesn’t stop crimnals from profiting from counterfeiting and smuggling those commodities. There will always be crime linked to cannabis. If it was sold and legislated against there would still be underground users and growers that would be profiting from that legislation.

From my perspective and I’m an expert witness for cannabis for the purposes of the courts as well, I know that anybody who starts getting involved in cannabis it’s only a matter of time before, either out of jealousy or concern or spite, somebody lets the authorities know that you are growing cannabis. Now that can either result in the police coming round your house and you obtaining a crimnal conviction or, even worse, other people can find out and come and be armed raiders at your house to steal your cannabis. None of it is a good idea.”

6. It is incorrect to claim that “cannabis causes a lot of harm to the community”. The harms are caused not by cannabis itself but by enforcement of the law against it and would be exactly the same were basil, oregano or tomatoes prohibited. Hall’s expression of his opinions about legalising and taxing cannabis is clearly engaging in politics. His attempt to scare people about armed raiders is reprehensible. Police officers should not be terrorising the public with such exaggeration, falsehood and distortion. Hall is entitled to hold his political opinions but he is not entitled to express them in an official capacity. I recognise that cannabis is a controversial subject and people will hold different opinions but it is wholly wrong and unprofessional for any police officer to engage in this political debate and amounts to misconduct.

7. In the article linked to in 2. above, Hall is quoted as saying “We hear people talk about medicinal cannabis to help with arthritis, but then they are climbing up into their loft every three hours to water their plants.”. This is offensive to people who have arthritis and discriminates against them based on their medical condition. It is also manifestly ridiculous and inaccurate. Watering any type of plant every three hours would kill the plants. Also, modern medical practice is that people with arthritis are encouraged to keep moving. There is a great deal of peer-reviewed, published, scientific evidence that supports the safety and efficacy of using cannabis for chronic pain conditions. See attached document ‘Medicinal Cannabis:The Evidence’. Therefore, Hall’s remarks towards people with arthritis amount to misconduct.

8. Later in the article, Hall again engages in political debate. In response to the Liberal Democrat’s proposals for a regulated cannabis market, he is quoted as saying:

“It would impact on other legislation. We have relatively new laws on drug driving, but would we want the battle we have had with drink driving for decades to happen all over again? It could mean 30 years of hard publicity and no end of terrible accidents to get that through to people. You also have to ask what would happen to the thousands of unemployed drug dealers. They would turn to other areas of crime. And underground growers could profit further, as their product would not carry the tax and VAT of legal cannabis. Legalisation would not destroy the market for illegal cannabis. Tobacco and alcohol are legislated against but it doesn’t stop criminals from smuggling or counterfeiting.”

This is blatant politicking. Hall is engaging in politics in his official capacity which amounts to misconduct.

I would be grateful if you would deal with this complaint at your earliest convenience. I shall be happy to provide any further information required or to give oral evidence in support.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Reynolds

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3 Responses

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  1. Well done Pete, you can only try to keep them honest! I still believe the drug driving test is based against cannabis as the thc stays in your ody for much longer than other so called illegal drugs, I would appreciate it if you could look into this matter, thanks

    Rusty

    April 20, 2016 at 7:20 pm

  2. Wow they just never stop, ive read a few thing in the express and star recently. I feel like myself and others commented on the nonsense propaganda and lies and discredited the article so badly they published 3 different versions of it in about a day and a half. Each one worse than the last. The comments i made were polite and truthfull and i am sure adeared to their house rules but they deleted them. The only reason i could think they done that was because it simply made a mockery of their awful reporting. They obviously dont want to publish replys that go against their propaganda.

    Steven

    April 21, 2016 at 9:33 am

  3. I ******* hate this guy…

    Dave summers

    April 23, 2016 at 11:26 am


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