Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Politics

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

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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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Mark Reckless Should Sue Grant Shapps For Defamation.

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The Odious Slanderer, Grant Shapps

Odious Slanderer And Wide Boy, Grant Shapps

The odious wide boy Grant Shapps, chair of the Tory party, has launched an attack on Mark Reckless which goes way beyond politics, it is defamation. Reckless should sue the slimy oik for every penny he has got.

I know a little about defamation from bitter, personal experience.  Shapps is worth suing, he’s wealthy and when you are slandered, maliciously and deliberately and the person responsible can pay, he deserves to.

Let’s be clear, Shapps is a first rate scumbag.  He made his fortune by selling despicable and fraudulent get rich quick schemes under a succession of false identities.  That he is now chairman of the Tory party says everything about how far that once noble institution has fallen.

My experience also tells me that Reckless will find a legal team willing to work on a conditional fee agreement.  There is no doubt that Shapps’ disgraceful words are deliberately calculated to cause serious damage to Reckless and it seems to me that his repeated accusations of lying are factually inaccurate or unsupportable opinion, spoken out of malice. This ticks all the boxes as required under the Civil Procedure Rules.

Resorting to law in politics is something that must only be done in the most serious and extreme of circumstances, when those engaged in defamation have breached every limit, every red line and every tenet of civilised behaviour.  That is the basis on which I decided to launch legal action against my abusers back at the beginning of 2013 and I urge Mark Reckless to take similar action now.

He, as I did, has a wider responsibility.  Shapps’ behaviour is beneath contempt and beyond redemption.  It is so serious that a stand must be made.  People who sink so low must be stopped in the interests of wider society – just as those who attacked me.

Shapps should also reflect on this – had he made his remarks after the writ for the Rochester and Strood by-election had been moved, he should now be facing criminal charges under section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.  Regrettably the maximum penalty is a fine of £5,000 but Shapps political career would then be finished.  For that, the whole country would be grateful, whatever their political views.  People who behave in the way that Shapps has, like those who defamed me, deserve everything they get.  They should be made outcasts from civilised society and debate.

Snooper’s Charter. This Is Why Americans Keep Their Guns.

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 “You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands.”

“You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands.”

Nick Clegg has caved in again.  Norman Baker sat next to the most monstrous woman in British politics as she sneaked her snide subversion of our freedom through parliament. These people are ‘Liberal Democrats’?

It is all decided.  There is nothing we can do.  Parliament adjourns in less than a fortnight.  There’s little your MP could do for you anyway, even if he or she had the balls to stand up against this railroading of fundamental changes to our rights.  The leadership of the main parties have conspired to pervert our democracy to their own ends. In America they would be put on trial for treason.  This is why Americans keep their guns. It is some protection against an overbearing state.

Meanwhile, in London, Boris Johnson’s water cannons have arrived. Julian Assange is still holed up in the Ecuador embassy. Edward Snowden, the great American hero is running for his life in Russia.

Bring the Guillotines To Parliament Square!

Bring the Guillotines To Parliament Square!

At least America has a constitution. British democracy is a sick joke. We have no control over our government.  Elections are meaningless.  Politicians are a self-serving, incestuous elite, part of the tripartite oligarchy with the Fleet Street Mafia and the bankers.  We are the servants of the state.  We can’t even determine the issues that the media and parliament consider.  Their agenda and priorities are imposed on us.  We can’t enact local medicinal cannabis laws as 23 states have in the US, where the people have instructed the government what to do.  We can’t define the debate on education, the health service or foreign policy.  We must just do what we’re told.

We let these people take our guns away from us – and we were foolish to do so.  After the water cannons, what comes next?

Vote YES!

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I’m dismayed at all the so called liberal and progressive thinkers who are calling for a “No”.

If you vote “No” you’re voting to support the corrupt, self-serving politics that is holding this country back.

I think AV is a terrible idea but it would be even worse to let those lazy, selfish, tabloid slaves that are supposed to represent us carry on as they are.

Vote “No” for more of the same.  Vote “Yes” for the chance of some change.

Those of you who can’t be bothered to get off your backsides even to spoil your ballot paper deserve nothing.  If you want to be part of society then take responsibility and vote.  I’d make it complusory and if you don’t show up you can forget any benefits, NHS, waste collection or other public services – and you can stop your moaning too!

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

Posted in Politics

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ISMOKE Magazine Issue 1

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My warmest congratulations to my good friend Nuff Said on the first edition of his new magazine, ISMOKE.

Go to the online version here where it is also possible to download and print a hard copy.

The contents of issue 1 are:

  • Lead Editorial – Nuff Said
  • Cannabis In The News: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
  • Proposition 19 & The Wild West – Jason Reed
  • An Interview With Peter Reynolds – Nuff Said
  • Cannabis In Cartoons – Nuff Said
  • The Politics Of  Cannabis – Peter Reynolds
  • A Word From The LCA – Alun Buffry
  • ISMOKE Would Like To Hear From You
  • Stateside: Why Are We Behind Our American Cousins? – Nuff Said
  • What Are You Smoking With?
  • UK Drug Policy Is A Contradictory Mess, Stuck In The 1970s – David Morris
  • Will Somebody Think Of The Children? The Problems Caused By Prohibition – Cure Ukay
  • My Story: How I Was Treated As A Self-Medicating Cannabis User – Tina Silva

The Public Sector Pay Scandal

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There are very few things in politics that are simple.  This is an exception.  The principle, implied by Panorama, that no one in the public sector should be paid more than the prime minister seems very sensible to me.

I already knew that BBC senior executives enjoy vastly overinflated pay but the fact that Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, gets £838,000 per annum is shocking.   It is particularly hard to take after the absurd spectacle of the Pope’s visit.  The leader of a very minor church, presently mired in appalling scandal, has enjoyed a bonanza of free, round the clock, TV, radio and internet promotion.  I didn’t know but it turns out that Mark Thompson is a rabid Catholic.  He has a nerve to run his own private campaigns at our expense!  This is too much!

He is at the top and is the very worst of a deeply depressing list of excess and vanity.  I am sure that many of these people are very able and skilled in their profession.  If and when they choose to go into the private sector they may well make millions.  While in the public sector, every single one of them should be very grateful for the privilege to serve.

The argument about market forces, put forward by the leader of Liverpool City Council, is just a weak excuse.  If he really believes it then he needs to think again.  Believe me, real market forces will sort this out, no problem.  We will still get the very best in senior positions if we recruit properly.  Successful people will seek to make their name in the public sector first, in prestige positions, then move on to make their fortune.

I say increase the prime minister’s salary to £250,000.  These gestures of senior politicians cutting their own pay are meaningless and impress no one.  Make that the maximum that anyone in the public sector can earn.  Enforce it immediately.  All salaries to be trimmed to that level from 1st October.  I see everything in favour of this and nothing against.

Thank God For The Prince Of Wales

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Otherwise our country would be littered with vainglorious, egotistical self-monuments to architects –  individuals like Richard Rogers who persist in the delusion that they know best.

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A Cluster Of Carbuncles

Prince Charles speaks with wisdom, discretion and for the conscience of the Nation.  Those who understand the unique place that the monarchy holds in British society know that he speaks for a Britishness that transcends politics, fashion and the vicissitudes of architecture.  To use their own, pretentious expression, architects create our “built environment”, the very space in which we live our lives.  What other profession charged with such a grave responsibility has failed so miserably over the last century?  Where is the great architecture of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and up to date? I can think of none but I can make you lists of the eyesores, slums and ludicrous mistakes that scar our towns and cities.

Thank God for the Prince of Wales!  To the architects, the planners, those lawyers and judges who know no respect, I say take them to the Tower!  Let them languish there until their own mistakes have crumbled into dust.  Then we might give them another go.  Until then let’s stick with the proven classics of design.  Innovation and experiment may be valid in modern art but in architecture there can be no equivalent of Damian Hirst or Tracy Emin.  They may thrive in private view but not in public.  No thank you!