PCC Complaint. Harborough Mail, 3rd March 2012
“Drugs factory raided”, Harborough Mail, 03-03-12
I wish to make a complaint concerning the above article which is still available online at: http://www.harboroughmail.co.uk/news/crime/drugs-factory-raided-1-3578914
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 P.O.Box 674, Salfords, Redhill, RH1 9BN. For the purposes of correspondence, please use my personal address as below.
1. The article breaches clause 1.i) of the code in that it publishes inaccurate, misleading and distorted information.
2. In the seventh paragraph the article states: “Police are warning that when cannabis plants reach the final stages of maturity the odour they release has carcinogenic properties.”
This is inaccurate, misleading and distorted, It is absolute nonsense with no basis in science at all. It can only be a deliberate attempt to deceive. No one with even the most basic knowledge of the subject could make such a howling error. If this information was provided by the police then the journalist and editor concerned have failed in their duty to take reasonable steps to check the facts.
3. In the eighth paragraph the article states: “Officers who deal with the plants use ventilation masks and protective suits and people who have plants in their home, especially anyone with young children, may be exposing their family to a health risk”.
This is inaccurate, misleading and distorted, It is absolute nonsense with no basis in science at all. It can only be a deliberate attempt to deceive and to cause fear and consternation amongst anyone who might come into contact with cannabis plants. It is scaremongering of the most dishonest and irresponsible kind.
4. I ask that the commission should censure the newspaper, the editor and the journalist concerned in the strongest possible terms and should require a very prominent front page correction and apology. A complaint has also been made to Northamptonshire Police.
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.