PCC Complaint. Harborough Mail, 3rd March 2012

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Peter Reynolds
    To: complaints@pcc.org.uk
    Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 12:58 PM
    Subject: Complaint against the Harborough Mail, issue dated 3rd March 2012

    Dear Sirs,

    “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.

    Yours faithfully,

    Peter Reynolds

    • Anonymous

      Just thought you guys might appreciate an update on this one. Dr Ben Goldacre has picked it up and has contacted the police who’ve passed the buck to Harborough Mail who in turn have said that they got their info from their sister paper, the Northants Evening Telegraph. You can keep up with what he’s doing with it here:
      http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/police-are-warning-that-the-smell-of-cannabis 

      Edit: I’ve just noticed someone else has posted the same link on the other article covering this one, sorry for the repeat.

    • http://neurobonkers.com Neurobonkers

      According to Ben Goldacre the police claim they never made the statement..

      http://bengoldacre.posterous.com/police-are-warning-that-the-smell-of-cannabis

    • http://www.peter-reynolds.co.uk Peter Reynolds

      CLEAR broke the story and is the official complainant to both the police and the newspaper so I think you’ll find the full follow up is here!
      http://clear-uk.org/corby-police-claim-cannabis-odour-is-carcinogenic/http://clear-uk.org/pcc-complaint-harborough-mail-3rd-march-2012/ 

    • http://www.peter-reynolds.co.uk Peter Reynolds

      Well it will be interesting to see their formal response to our complaint:

      http://clear-uk.org/corby-police-claim-cannabis-odour-is-carcinogenic/ 

    • Patricia Allen

      The link doesn’t work, at least here in the US. Just FYI. I pre-liked in anticipation of another one of your excellent follow-ups. As they say here, “too soon?” 

    • Anonymous

      Surely who broke the story first or whatever official complaints are floating around are irrelevant? Dr Goldacre is well known for attacking nonsense like this and is an excellent ally to have on side. Also, as nueurobonkers has pointed out on the other article, he’s already had a number of response that are more than just a little pertinent to this unfolding situation.

    • Anonymous

      The Police tell lies? Surly not true.

      Until i watched the Levi-son inquiry. Britain must be way way up the corruption tables

    • Anonymous

      Looks like the cops put out the lie – Police complaints commission anybody? 

    • http://www.peter-reynolds.co.uk Peter Reynolds

      I’ve already submitted a formal complaint to Northants Police.  The IPCC is the next stage in the process.

    • Anonymous

      Head of the MET Lending police horses to journalists WTF!!!! ANd they want to knick us for having a smoke FFS! Our system is corrupt to the core, rotten all the way from the top to the middle
       

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Peter for fighting alongside us, pm me if you are still interested in running my story on the clear website, all the best, keep up the great work you do 

    • Anonymous

      Quite accurate, Mr. Reynolds – And I am referring primarily to this well-drafted complaint of Yours! (has SWIM been looking into Crit. Studies recently :)? Aaanyway..please,
      Please! do NOT stop complainin’; 
      ’cause they DESERVE ‘da blaimin’ *lol*

    • Anonymous

      Uuuuh, intriguing.. awaiting it ardently!

    • Anonymous

      Looks like leverson is killing off the PCC soon anyway.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/mar/08/press-complaints-commission-close-phone-hacking?CMP

      Pity they can’t do it sooner and replace it with an OFCOM type agency with sharp teath & a bite that hurts finacially.

    • Anonymous

      ‘..but Hunt said the parts of the PCC that had worked would be retained, including the complaints resolution service.

      “I’m determined that we should make sure that we still keep those procedures which 80%, 85% of people who have used them have found so helpful..’

    • steve a

      This stupidity prompted me to find out a bit more about the smelly side of cannabis and I have been doing a bit of reading on some of the American sites dedicated to spreading the word about CBD.

      Terpines (the smell), far from being a cause of cancer, may actually be a major part of the effects which appear to cure it.  Not in themselves but by boosting the way the THC, CBD and other substances actually work.  Quite enlightening and completely at odds with the newspaper reports we are laughing at.

      From this we can say that the attempt at state sponsored terrorism by police and press is completely contrary to the scientific data in this matter and there are articles to cite to back us up.  That should go down well.

    • http://www.peter-reynolds.co.uk Peter Reynolds

      The complaints resolution service is, in fact, a good aspect of the PCC that does work effectively.  As I have said many times, the complaints officers are efficient and helpful.  It is when complaints are passed to the commission itself that they are dealt with by a corrupt, self-serving, dishonest group of editors who work to protect their own interests and have not the slightest concern for the public.

    • http://www.peter-reynolds.co.uk Peter Reynolds

      Terpenes are, I understand, a vital part of the therapeutic effect of cannabis.  Terpenes found in cannabis are also found in other plants. This is an excellent article sent to me yesterday in connection with this complaint.

      http://www.growswitch.com/blog/2011/07/how-cannabis-works-wake-up-and-smell-the-terpenes/#.T1frHcWqAoN 

    • Patricia Allen

      Excellent work, Steve. As an American, I encourage everyone with questions to research American sites, as we have made much progress here, despite the problems individual State laws impose. 
      I knew it was a ridiculous notion, and I thank you for researching and posting. This should go on Peter’s FB wall, as well. 

    • Patricia Allen

      These editors are under pressure from their publishers, who prefer profits to the truth. I am referring to newspaper editors.

    • Patricia Allen

      The science of scent is a variation of the Law of Attraction.

    • steve a

      Frankly I was amazed at what I read.  Who would have thought that CBD can be better than vitamin C for sweeping up free radicals? 

      Add that knowledge to the claimed boosting effects the terpene limonene has on CBD and the police will soon be watching to see how many lemons people buy and using that as evidence to bust cancer sufferers.
       

    • steve a

       As an Englishman I find it best to keep my opinions of other nationalities to myself.  ;}

      The simple truth is that because of the way our political system works we will always be late to this particular game.  I do agree that when you look away from the Free The Weed crowd and focus on those genuinely searching for medical answers that the evidence which comes out of the USA is not just compleling but put in the most sensible and rational of manners.  Well done you lot, keep it up.

    • Anonymous

      I know.

      I worked in the newspaper industry for 5 years for a paper in the same group that own the Daily Fail.

    • Patricia Allen

      My primary focus is on the cancer prevention end. A rare genetic disorder led me to research 20 years ago. An interesting personal fact: I have survived five primary cancers in the past 20 years. Of great importance is that each time I stopped using Cannabis for any long period of time, cancer followed. My point is that it is beyond a cure; it prevents cancer by maintaining healthy cell renewal and growth. Dana Farber, one of the world’s foremost cancer institutes, located in Boston, Mass., agrees with my use although it is not yet legal in Massachusetts, my home state. I believe that says it all.

    • Patricia Allen

      …and I worked at a newspaper in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts for five years. When it was bought out by cattle ranchers (I kid you not!) and my editor was hired on, he fought for truth in reporting, and eventually lost his job as managing editor. He now works for a small town newspaper that is out of the corporate loop, and continues to be a journalist and editor with integrity.

    • steve a

       Not quite all.

      “Beyond a cure”.  That is excellent, may I use it?

    • Anonymous

      Here’s a recent example for that (namely that there is some nice intel. to be found on US-sites) – an exclusive by one Lee Fang; and he didn’t exactly mince his words:

      http://www.republicreport.org/2012/exclusive-why-cant-you-smoke-pot-because-lobbyists-are-getting-rich-off-of-the-war-on-drugs/

    • Patricia Allen

      Absolutely, Steve!

    • stevo3178

      New of this has reached america see what they are saying here.
      http://www.theweedblog.com/odor-of-cannabis-plants-causes-cancer-according-to-uk-police/