30 Jan Britain’s Most Senior Police Officer Or A ‘Drug War’ Politician?

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

“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.”

Police Regulations 2003, schedule 1

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has been afflicted with ‘reefer madness’ throughout his career and now that he’s got the top cop job, he’s doing his best to roll out the propaganda as hard as he can.

He’s been misleading the All-party Parliamentary Group on Cannabis and Children in a speech where he completely forgot himself, stepped over the line and broke the rules by indulging in the most crass and hysterical politicking.

I have made a complaint to the Professional Standards department of the Metropolitan Police. I predict with absolute confidence that it will fail to take my complaint seriously or deal with it properly. I will be very fortunate if they even record it as a complaint. So I anticipate that I will need to take it to the Independent Police Complaints Commission but as they presently take 26 weeks even to allocate a complaint to a case worker, I won’t be holding my breath. This is the reality of the corrupt police state that Britain is rapidly morphing into. The police are becoming increasingly politicised and increasingly unaccountable.

It’s the usual irresponsible, sensational, scientifically false propaganda that has no basis in evidence.

—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: [email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 7:35 PM
Subject: Complaint against Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Dear Sirs,

I wish to make a complaint against Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

My complaint concerns statements made by Hogan-Howe and widely published in the press which amount to politicking and misleading the public. His conduct is in breach of police regulations.

I make the complaint on my own account but also in my capacity as the leader of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), a UK political party, of The Greenhouse, 42-46, Bethel Street, Norwich, NR2 1NR. For the purposes of correspondence, please contact me via email.

I am a victim of misconduct by Hogan-Howe 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 nearly 20,000 registered supporters of CLEAR who are victims of Hogan-Howe’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.

Hogan-Howe is reported as saying:

1. “…that parents born in the 60s and 70s when cannabis was weaker are failing to warn their children about the dangers of super strength skunk.”

2. “…the potency of cannabis has increased five-fold in the last half century”

3. “Teenagers who smoke new powerful strains of skunk run the risk of developing schizophrenia in later life, and must be told they are taking a ‘major’ health risk.”

4. “…any move away from a ‘robust’ approach would lead to even younger children taking the drug and even more serious damage to their health.”

These are false, inaccurate and misleading statements which attempt to deceive the public that Hogan-Howe is an expert in the subject and that the public can rely on the accuracy and veracity of what he says. They seek to support the failed government policy of prohibition of cannabis and demonstrate quite clearly that Hogan-Howe is engaging in politics from which police officers are prohibited under schedule 1 of the Police Regulations 2003.

In making these statements, Hogan-Howe has acted dishonestly, without integrity, fairness and impartiality. He has abused his authority by making statements which, as the UK’s most senior police officer, he knows that the public are likely to believe without question. He has also acted in a way that discredits the police service and will undermine public confidence.

1. ‘Super strength skunk’ is a term used by the media and politicians to sensationalise and mislead. Skunk is a specific strain of cannabis which is rarely available in Britain. It is irresponsible and misleading of Hogan-Howe to use this terminology and it reveals that his true intentions are political and to deliver a sensational message.

2. There is no accepted definition of the ‘potency’ of cannabis. In terms of THC content the best evidence available is that, on average, levels have increased two or three fold in the last 50 years. However, THC levels alone are misleading as the presence of CBD, CBN and other cannabinoids counteract and modify the effect of THC. Once again, this statement demonstrates that Hogan-Howe’s true intentions are political and to deliver a sensational message.

3. No causal link has been established between cannabis use and schizophrenia despite hundreds of studies over many years. All that can be shown is that there is a statistical increase in risk of cannabis use correlating with later development of schizophrenia. The risk is tiny and insignificant in public health terms. According to Hickman et al 2009, a review of all published research so, by definition, not cherry picked, the risk is between 0.013% and 0.003%. Therefore, the claim that cannabis use is a ‘major health risk’ is absolutely false. Once again, this demonstrates that Hogan-Howe’s true intentions are political and to deliver a sensational message.

4. The main cause of children having access to cannabis is that the market is in the hands of criminals who have no concern for the age of their customers. The only ID a dealer asks for is a £20 note. All the evidence from Holland, the USA, the Czech Republic and wherever regulated access to cannabis is available to adults is that consumption by children is reduced and age at first use increases. Hogan-Howe’s assertion is, therefore, false, unsupported by any evidence and it reveals that his true intentions are political and to deliver a sensational message.

I accept that Hogan-Howe has a duty to uphold the law as it presently stands, It is however entirely improper for him to engage in politicking, scaremongering, the promotion of myth, prejudice and propaganda. The public are likely to be alarmed by his words which are clearly intended to cause fear, consternation and hatred of cannabis users as a social group.

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