Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘magistrate

I Gladly Accept The Title Of Cannabis Zealot

with 4 comments

Last August, I complained about the conduct of Yvonne Davies, a Manchester magistrate.  This week, remarkably, the regulatory process worked.  She was reprimanded and, as a result, chose to resign. This was the correct decision.  It is impossible for someone with such an extremist opinion to judge anyone else.  She is an anti-cannabis crusader and no magistrate can properly take that position.

The Manchester Evening News led the reporting which was quickly picked up by the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.  I telephoned the Manchester newspaper to protest that they had merely used the opportunity to re-publish all Ms Davies’ hysterical scaremongering.  I’ll be honest.  I was concerned the whole thing was starting to backfire, just giving more publicity to Ms Davies’ false and misleading claims.

Some cocky junior Mancunian journalist sneered so hard down the phone at me that I could feel it.  When I explained about the endocannabinoid system and the neuroprotective qualities of cannabis he turned into a particularly ignorant and stroppy Gallagher brother and I realised there was no point.  I wrote a letter to the editor for publication instead.

I also wrote a letter for publication to the  Daily Telegraph.

Then, Tuesday afternoon, I was enjoying a brief glimpse of sunshine outside my friends pub, The Falcon, in Queen’s Park, west London.  My phone rang.  It was the Daily Mail and I chatted away with Nazia Parveen, the journalist, for a good fifteen minutes.  The result you see below in print and the online version is here.

The Daily Mail 26th June 2013. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

The Daily Mail 26th June 2013. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Trust the Mail to try and twist the story into something it isn’t.  I wish I had the power to force a few people to quit.  I’d start with Theresa May, move on to Jeremy Browne and rattle through Cameron, Osborne, Paul Dacre, Kathy Gyngell, Melanie Philips and by the time I got to the judiciary there’d be plenty more senior than Ms Davies with much greater reason to go (see here for a few examples).

A ‘cannabis zealot’ I am.  Just as the 1st century Jewish sect who fought against the Romans, I will stand every time, in the face of whatever odds, use whatever means, to tell the truth about cannabis. It is an immense gift on our planet in so very many ways – which is exactly why it is demonised, why it is only its harms that are discussed and never its benefits.

Yes.  I gladly accept the title.  A ‘Cannabis Zealot’ am I.

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