Peter Reynolds

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IPSO Complaint Against The Sunday Telegraph – “Our Police Have Gone To Pot”.

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ipso logoIPSO

Your complaint

Type of complaint: Material published in a newspaper or magazine
Type of complaint: Material published in a newspaper or magazine website
Date story was published: Sunday 26 July, 2015
Publication: The Sunday Telegraph
URL of article (if appropriate): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11763228/Our-police-have-gone-to-pot.html
Publication has been contacted?: No
Publication headline: Our police have gone to pot

How the Code has been breached

Clauses breached
Clause 1 (Accuracy)
1. First sentence: “Despite the medical evidence that cannabis causes psychosis, Durham police have announced that they will no longer prosecute those growing ‘€œsmall quantities‒ for personal consumption.”This is factually inaccurate. There is no medical evidence that cannabis causes psychosis. All the studies on the subject are very clear that no causative link can be shown.

2. Para 2 first sentence: “Many ministers admit having used illegal substances; so this policy of allowing the nation to rot its brains and become a danger to everyone else has yet to be countermanded.”

This is factually inaccurate. There is no evidence that cannabis ‘rots the brain’. In fact, precisely the opposite is true. Many studies demonstrate that cannabis is neuroprotective and helps to protect the brain against external injury, concussion and stroke. There is also no evidence that cannabis use causes anyone to “become a danger to everyone else”.

About you

Name: Mr Peter Reynolds

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm

IPSO Complaint Against The Times – “We’€™d Be Off Our Heads To Tolerate Cannabis”.

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ipso logoIPSO

Your complaint

Type of complaint: Material published in a newspaper or magazine
Type of complaint: Material published in a newspaper or magazine website
Date story was published: Monday 27 July, 2015
Publication: The Times
URL of article (if appropriate): http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4508934.ece
Publication has been contacted?: No
Publication headline: We’€™d be off our heads to tolerate cannabis

How the Code has been breached

Clauses breached
Clause 1 (Accuracy) Although this is an opinion piece it makes a number of factual assertions that are false and unsupported by any evidence.

1. Subhead: “Police laxity has led to more young pot-heads and rising levels of psychosis and addiction” This is factually incorrect. There are now fewer people of all ages using cannabis.

2. Para 3 “Far from a harsh approach, it is laxity that has boosted the number of young pot-heads. This is bad for multiple reasons. Cannabis itself is extremely dangerous. It impairs memory, cripples judgment and the ability to learn. In high doses it can cause addiction, paranoia and psychosis and provoke schizophrenia.”

Factually incorrect. The “number of young pot-heads” has declined not been “boosted”. There is no evidence that cannabis is “extremely dangerous”. There is no evidence that cannabis causes psychosis.

3. Para 7 “Then they claimed Portugal‒s drug liberalisation had caused drug use to tumble. This was untrue; the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction showed that drug use there had increased.”

Factually incorrect, the EMCDDA and all sources show that drug use has declined in Portugal since decriminalisation

4. Para 10 “Although there is no scientific evidence for definitive benefit from medicinal cannabis, the US has now legalised this in 23 states”

Factually incorrect, there is a vast quantity of peer-reviewed, published scientific evidence demonstrating the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis.

These are very serious inaccuracies which Ms Phillips publishes on a regular basis in the full knowledge that they are untrue. Any newspaper which knowingly publishes lies and falsehoods to deceive its readers should be subject to the strongest possible sanctions including a financial penalty. Such dishonest publications must be dealt with firmly, sufficient to deter repetition.

About you

Name: Mr Peter Reynolds

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm

CLEAR Sets The Pace In The Social Media Cannabis Campaign.

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CLEAR Facebook Insights And Comparison With Similar Pages, 20th July 2015.

CLEAR Facebook Insights And Comparison With Similar Pages, 20th July 2015.

Since the spring of 2011, through Facebook and Twitter, CLEAR has provided a newsfeed on cannabis and drugs policy that informs and energises the campaign.

The CLEAR Daily News, available on email subscription here, summarises all of each day’s posts on social media. It provides a quick way to catch up and a record of events across the world in the campaign for cannabis law reform and a more intelligent, evidence-based approach to drugs policy.

A major overhaul of the CLEAR website has automated much of the process of compiling and distributing the Daily News. However, it still depends on the CLEAR team of five or six admins to find and post the news on a continuous basis 365 days a year between 7.00 am and midnight, UK time.

Written by Peter Reynolds

July 21, 2015 at 11:14 am

The BBC Finally Wakes Up To the Potential Of Medicinal Cannabis.

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bbc cannab headerSome people think the BBC is right wing and others think it’s run by a bunch of commie subversives.  Personally I’d say it’s soft left, mumsy, pro-status quo.  It supports the establishment and that means it’s always been negative about cannabis.  If it isn’t joining in the demonisation of us – the three million psychotic axe murderers that use cannabis regularly in the UK – then it takes a jokey, sarcastic, snide angle.

Alistair Leithead.

Alistair Leithead

So the release of a short news video report today ‘Can cannabis oil cure serious diseases like cancer?’ is a big step forward.  Even better, it’s fronted by Alastair Leithead, a credible, intelligent journalist, not by some ‘celebrity doctor’ or the ‘addiction expert’ Professor John Marsden, who presented the disgraceful and misleading ‘America’s Stoned Kids’ in 2012, where he tried to pin adolescents with cannabis problems on Colorado’s legalisation even though it hadn’t even come into force at the time.

Professor

Professor John Marsden

Mark my words, this is a step change, a seminal moment.

Perhaps, at last, the UK media will start treating medicinal cannabis seriously as has been happening in America and Australia for many years.  We’ve already seen some local newspapers publishing intelligent articles and the Daily Mail has jumped on the bandwagon of sensationalist stories about treating childhood epilepsy.  All we need now is The Times, The Guardian and the Sundays to give it the attention it deserves.  The Daily Telegraph has become the new home of ‘reefer madness’, with appalling distortion of science, more tabloid than a tabloid.  But we don’t need it anymore, it’s made itself irrelevant.

bbc cannabis oil 2bbc cannabis oilSo watch this short video.  It includes interviews with Kat Arney of Cancer Research UK, a woman who is cancer free after rejecting chemotherapy and only using cannabis oil and a sceptical Professor David Agus, who is entirely correct that there is no credible scientific evidence yet available that cannabis cures cancer.

It’s coming though.  CLEAR is about to publish the most comprehensive, up to date paper ‘Medicinal Cannabis:The Evidence’.  A leading pharmacologist is about to publish a paper supporting a move of cannabis from schedule one to schedule two and various clinical trials are coming to fruition.

All the more reason to be optimistic that the next Parliament will have no option but to introduce long-overdue reform.

The BBC Is Dead. Long Live Jeremy Clarkson.

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DAILY MAIL: “…senior BBC boss claims ‘Clarkson is like Savile'”

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson

OK, well it is the Daily Mail, so until there’s some corroboration we should be cautious about believing it. However, if there is even an iota of truth in it then the ‘BBC boss’ must be sacked. That’s sacked, not ‘allowed to resign’ or ‘retire’.  He or she must be summarily dismissed without compensation.

This could also be the chance to exceed the record libel award in the High Court.  What can be more defamatory in 2015 than comparing someone to the bogey man to end all bogey men, Jimmy Savile?

I really think this is the end for the BBC now. Relentless incompetence, far too many wildly overpaid apparatchiks.  A culture of a soft left, pro status quo, subservient to orders from ministers and civil servants, however much it might protest its faux independence from government.  My personal grudge: the craven censorship even of any debate on drugs policy.

As for Jezza, it amazes me how so many people don’t understand that he is in the business of satire and irony. Either they’re dumb, ‘frigid feminist PC bigots’ (Jezza would be proud of me) or they are lacking in any humour or intelligent understanding of the self-parody that is Jeremy Clarkson. He’s a hoot and he deserves the support he has gained from ‘probably the fastest growing petition ever in the history of the world’

Of course, if he hit someone then he should be subject to disciplinary and possibly criminal process.  On the other hand, if it was a minor fracas and argument between colleagues then the BBC is guilty once again of dreadful misjudgement.

I greatly admire the BBC’s output and it has been a wonderful training ground for our richest talent in film, TV and radio but it is now time for  it to be broken up. We won’t lose the talent or the high quality creative and production skills but we must lose the dishonest culture, sense of entitlement and attitudes that belong to a bygone era.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 15, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Channel 4 Drugs Live. How To Cause Confusion About Cannabis.

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Hash

Hash

What is this ‘hash’ that looks like weed and this ‘skunk’ that isn’t cannabis?

Channel 4’s ‘Drugs Live:Cannabis On Trial‘ played fast and loose with facts, terminology and ethical considerations.

Cannabis

Cannabis

To be fair, I greatly enjoyed the programme (well I would wouldn’t I) and there was some fascinating science. Particularly about how the brain responds to music when you’re high and about how CBD protects the ‘salience network’, the key to motivation.  This gives weight to the theory of an ‘amotivational syndrome’.

In a week’s time though, all that most of the public will remember is Jon Snow saying that using ‘skunk’ was more terrifying than being in a war zone and his distorted reporting of the recent study by which he implied that 25% of people who use ‘skunk’ will become psychotic.

So I am left with very mixed feelings.  The pre-publicity was a disgrace: inaccurate, misleading, unethical  – words I have already published and I stand by them.

The brazen misuse of the terms ‘skunk’ and ‘hash’ is an appalling error of judgement by Channel 4, Renegade Pictures and yes, sadly, by two scientists for whom I have the greatest  of respect: Professors Val Curran and David Nutt.

Why would you choose to use the same word as the gutter press chooses to demonise cannabis? ‘Skunk’ is a scary word and what it really means is a sativa dominant strain with a modest THC content of 8% and only traces of CBD.

As for hash, it also has a specific meaning: the compressed resin, derived from the plant by sieving or by hand rubbing.  By definition a more concentrated form of cannabis, yet the programme claimed exactly the opposite.

A far better, more accurate, more scientific and informative shorthand would have been to describe the cannabis as low CBD, high CBD and placebo.

Surely, whether we agree or disagree with their evidence, we are entitled to expect precision and accuracy from scientists?

The fundamental problem with this programme was that there were no cannabis experts present, only detached academics and scientists or cannabis users who were hardly well informed or articulate.  I did of course volunteer but for some reason the producers saw fit to exclude anyone from the cannabis campaign or anyone who has both in depth knowledge and real experience.

Unfortunately, this programme will go the same way as all those other earnest endeavours, ‘The Union’, ‘The Culture High’, ‘In Pot We Trust’, etc – all very enjoyable, self-affirming and satisfying but all preaching to the choir. I’ll be interested to see what the viewing figures were for last night’s programme.

Professor David Nutt and his Harm Index.

Professor David Nutt and his Harm Index.

The best bit was David Nutt’s final conclusion. On his scale of harms, even low CBD cannabis (the demon ‘SKUNK’)  is less harmful than alcohol, heroin, crack, meth, cocaine, tobacco and speed.  After the study he concludes that high CBD cannabis is the least harmful drug of all.

Channel 4. ‘Drugs Live:Cannabis’, Drug War Propaganda Dressed Up As Science.

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Fight back against Channel 4’s war on cannabis.

Drug Warrior Jon Snow and Quack 'Dr' Christian Jessen

Drug Warrior Jon Snow and Quack ‘Dr’ Christian Jessen

Drugs Live:Cannabis‘ is a massive fraud perpetrated on the British people by a broadcaster that places cheap and dishonest scaremongering above its duty for truth and balance.

I expect the programme itself to be balanced and probably reach the correct conclusion on the evidence but the pre-publicity has been misleading and irresponsible.  Most people reached by the pre-publicity won’t watch the programme.

Make a complaint to Channel 4 Here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm

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