05 Dec PCC Complaint. The Daily Mail, From 2001 To 2011
I wish to make a complaint against the Daily Mail about its systematic campaign over many years of misinformation, dishonesty, falsification and distortion of evidence concerning cannabis.
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.
Please refer to the list of Daily Mail articles about cannabis available on the CLEAR website:
This details articles from 2001 to 2011. I fully appreciate that this falls outside the normal scope of a complaint to the commission because it covers many articles, most of which would be regarded as out of time. However, I ask that the commission should make an exception to its normal practice precisely because of the nature and importance of this complaint.
My complaint concerns all these article taken as a whole and the systematic and repeated breaches of both the letter and spirit of the Editors’ Code over 10 years. Quite clearly, seen together, these articles disprove themselves. As a whole, the absurdity and falsehood of the Daily Mail’s work on this subject is self-evident.
On this subject the Daily Mail has been in persistent and repeated breach of clause 1) of the code throughout the last 10 years. It publishes inaccurate, misleading and distorted information, apparently with impunity. It deliberately confuses comment, conjecture and fact in order to mislead. It regularly falsifies scientific evidence.
With 10 million UK citizens using cannabis occasionally, three million using it at least once per month, over one million with a conviction for a cannabis “crime”, £500 million per annum spent on the criminal justice system for cannabis alone and a UK market worth in excess of £6 billion per annum (IDMU 2011), this is a subject of enormous importance. It is clearly in the public interest that the commission should address this appalling record of wholesale deceit of the British public throughout the last 10 years.
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.