The Daily Mail – Addicted To Lies And Misinformation About Cannabis

    In its latest, shameful descent into lies, scaremongering and deceit about science and cannabis, The Daily Mail blurts: “One cannabis joint ‘can bring on schizophrenia’ as well as damaging memory”

    Read more:

    This will be the subject of a Press Complaints Commission complaint.  However, I do not expect any satisfaction or proper evaluation of a complaint by the PCC as it has proved itself again and again to be corrupt, dishonest and not in the least concerned with truth, accuracy or enforcing the Editors’ Code.

    However, I have now spoken directly to Dr Matt Jones, lead author of the study in question and MRC Senior Non-clinical Fellow at the University of Bristol.  He told me that he was “disappointed but not surprised” at the Daily Mail’s coverage of his work.  He gave me permission to quote him in saying that “This study does NOT say that one spliff will bring on schizophrenia”.

    The Daily Mail, its journalists and its toady apologists on the PCC are liars, cheats and charlatans with not one ounce of integrity, nor any interest in truth or honesty.

    A full copy of the study in question is here.

    • Whitely

       did they like hotbox the rat cage or something thats harsh

    • Natalie

      I hate all this propaganda shit, why can’t they let us use this miracle medicine and let us get high. It’s not like stoner’s are out all night on the streets puking everywhere, shouting abuse at people and starting fights.

      It’s a safe plant that was put on this Earth for a reason!


    • Anonymous

      Lucky rats, I haven’t had the pleasure in a while now.
      Just when you think the Daily wail cant sink any lower in their pursuit of fact less and truth twisting propaganda, along comes Tamara Cohen and voilà-they sink deeper than the Mariana trench!
      I was going to post some info on their site but didn’t for two reasons.
      1:They probably would not allow anyone the courtesy of posting some facts with links about Cannabis and
      2:I felt unclean just looking at the Daily wail header!

      We all know that there are certain dangers for certain people who use Cannabis. We are however adult enough to see past the exaggeration and lies to the truth of the issue without resorting to 1950’s style dramatisation and propaganda. 
      Any chance of getting Dr Jones to write a small article for us on this forum, perhaps in direct reply to the lies that were written Peter?
      The PCC are about as much help as sign language is to a blind person!

    • Steven Parker

      Nice work Peter. Keep it up!

    • martyn

      government and their media are truly psychotic,and no longer fit for purpose

    • Derek Williams

      For the record, this is the press release the story was made up from

      Bristol University website

      How cannabis causes ‘cognitive chaos’ in the brain

      Press release issued 25 October 2011

      Cannabis use is associated with disturbances in concentration and memory. New research by neuroscientists at the University of Bristol, published in the Journal of Neuroscience [25 October], has found that brain activity becomes uncoordinated and inaccurate during these altered states of mind, leading to neurophysiological and behavioural impairments reminiscent of those seen in schizophrenia.

      The collaborative study, led by Dr Matt Jones from the University’s School of Physiology and Pharmacology, tested whether the detrimental effects of cannabis on memory and cognition could be the result of ‘disorchestrated’ brain networks.

      Brain activity can be compared to performance of a philharmonic orchestra in which string, brass, woodwind and percussion sections are coupled together in rhythms dictated by the conductor. Similarly, specific structures in the brain tune in to one another at defined frequencies: their rhythmic activity gives rise to brain waves, and the tuning of these brain waves normally allows processing of information used to guide our behaviour.

      Using state-of-the-art technology, the researchers measured electrical activity from hundreds of neurons in rats that were given a drug that mimics the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. While the effects of the drug on individual brain regions were subtle, the drug completely disrupted co-ordinated brain waves across the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, as though two sections of the orchestra were playing out of synch.  Both these brain structures are essential for memory and decision-making and heavily implicated in the pathology of schizophrenia. 

      The results from the study show that as a consequence of this decoupling of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, the rats became unable to make accurate decisions when navigating around a maze.

      Dr Jones, lead author and MRC Senior Non-clinical Fellow at the University, said: “Marijuana abuse is common among sufferers of schizophrenia and recent studies have shown that the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana can induce some symptoms of schizophrenia in healthy volunteers. These findings are therefore important for our understanding of psychiatric diseases, which may arise as a consequence of ‘disorchestrated brains’ and could be treated by re-tuning brain activity.”

      Michal Kucewicz, first author on the study, added: “These results are an important step forward in our understanding of how rhythmic activity in the brain underlies thought processes in health and disease.”

      The research is part of a Medical Research Council (MRC)-supported collaboration between the University and the Eli Lilly & Co. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience that aims to develop new tools and targets for treatment of brain diseases like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.


      The actual paper is behind the usual £30 for one read paywall typical of the academic press, but the abstract is here

      Coordinated activity spanning anatomically distributed neuronal networks underpins cognition and mediates limbic–cortical interactions during learning, memory, and decision-making. We used CP55940, a potent agonist of brain cannabinoid receptors known to disrupt coordinated activity in hippocampus, to investigate the roles of network oscillations during hippocampal and medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) interactions in rats. During quiet wakefulness and rest, CP55940 dose-dependently reduced 0.1–30 Hz local field potential power in CA1 of the hippocampus while concurrently decreasing 30–100 Hz power in mPFC; these contrasting population-level effects were paralleled by differential effects on underlying single-unit activity in the two structures. During decision-making phases of a spatial working memory task, CP5540-induced deficits in hippocampal theta and prefrontal gamma oscillations were observed alongside disrupted theta-frequency coherence between the two structures. These changes in coordinated limbic–cortical network activities correlated with (1) reduced accuracy of task performance, (2) impaired phase-locking of prefrontal single-unit spiking to the local gamma and hippocampal theta rhythms, and (3) impaired task-dependent activity in a subset of mPFC units. In addition to highlighting the importance of CA1–mPFC network oscillations for cognition, these results implicate disrupted theta-frequency coordination of CA1–mPFC activity in the cognitive deficits caused by exogenous activation of brain cannabinoid receptors.

      CP55940 is not THC. According to wikipedia,940

      CP 55,940 is a cannabinoid which mimics the effects of naturally occurring THC (one of the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana). CP 55,940 was created by Pfizer in 1974 but was never marketed. It is currently used to study the endocannabinoid system.

      Some effects that have been noted are a greatly decreased rates of
      lever pressing in exposed mice, and a greater reaction to opiates in
      exposed mice. CP 55,940 is 45 times more potent than ?9-THC, and fully antagonized by rimonabant (SR141716A).[1] CP 55,940 is considered a full agonist at both CB1 and CB2 receptors and has Ki values of 0.58nM and 0.68nM respectively, but is an antagonist at GPR55, the putative “CB3″ receptor.[2]

      There is no information on the dangers or neurotoxicity of CP 55,940 except what can be inferred from its similarity to other cannabinoids, which typically exhibit neuroprotective properties.


      Edited to sort out the formatting and also to point out that we already know the effects of cannabis are similar to psychotic symptoms – indeed on the whole it’s what cannabis users enjoy. by this I mean changes in perception etc. We also know about transient effects such as paranoia. This is not news.

    • Anonymous

      Unbelievable.. not only was Cannabis NOT used in this study, there is no mention of causality from “behavioural impairments reminiscent of those seen in schizophrenia”. The DM ‘article’ headline says “can bring on schizophrenia” but the first line “can bring on SYMPTOMS of schizophrenia”. Completely misleading. 

      And this on a day when its discovered that a prominent star (Winehouse) died from an Alcohol overdose ( “the effects alcohol can have on the system, including respiratory depression and death, heart problems, fertility problems and liver problems”, but no scaremongering and calls for tougher alcohol laws/sales restrictions, no comparing being drunk to e.g. motor-cortex brain damage… the hypocrisy and complete misuse of research.. unbelievable. But then this is the DM and I shouldn’t be surprised should I…

    • Peter Reynolds

      Derek, I know you don’t like Facebook but you’ll find that the Univ of Bristol press release is already up on the FB page and so is a link to the full study which Dr Jones sent to me himself:

      We’ve also now established that the dosage of CP55940 given to the rats was approx equivalent to 85 pure THC joints

    • Anonymous

      So basically they gave the Rats a synthetic form of THC, 45 times stronger than normal delta 9, with no CBD content as a counteraction?
      This is quite a different story from the ‘just one joint…’ bullshit!

    • Peter Reynolds

      Jake, it amazes me that I can still get so angry about the DM having seen so many of its lies and deceptions.  Dr Jones, a very nice chap, described them in terms whjich he didn’t want quoted and which I wouldn’t repeat in polite society anyway.

      Today I’ve been preparing my witness statement to the Leveson Inquiry about my experience of the PCC and I realise that it is actually even more villainous than the DM itself. After all, it is supposed to protect us against the worst excesses of the press yet is lies and dissembles and deceives in the most blatant and malevolent way.

    • Derek Williams

      I was promised the original paper myself today from Bristol uni PR dept, but it never arrived. Equivalent to 85 joints eh? you’ve saved me a lot of work :)

    • Dant Ro65

      im seeing another press complaint in your future.

      just out of curiosity what comes of these press complaints?

    • Cshaws

      I raised a PCC complaint (rather heated I must admit) about an article in the Sheffield Star on the 13th October. say I will have an answer within 35 working days but they included this rider in their reply:  In order for the PCC to be able to investigate complaints effectively, it is essential that neither party to a complaint, complainant or newspaper/magazine, publishes information which has been provided as part of the investigation – most notably correspondence – without the consent of the other party.  Publication, without consent, may affect the PCC’s ability to continue to deal with a complaint or may be considered by the PCC when it reaches a decision as to whether the Code has been breached. Material provided by both complainants and publications during a PCC investigation must only be used for the purpose of the complaint being considered by the PCC.So, I assume, I can only publish the findings once the investigation is complete.  Watch this space.

    • Anonymous

      I’m glad its not just me then! :-). I’m sure you haven’t, but don’t forget the time you received mixed-up PCC post that had scanned and highlighted ‘studies’ refuting your claim, of which they were sending to the press.. in the name of ‘impartiality’..

    • Peter Reynolds

      Dant, as Cshaws says , everything is under wraps until an agreement or a ruling.  It’s all here:

    • Christopher

      I remember back in 2005, Caroline Flint, the bitch who introduced the ban on Magic Mushrooms, was claiming they were dangerous and had outrageously misrepresented a Swiss study into the safety of psilocybin and psilocin to try to justify her proposed ban.

      I had read the study in question and knew she was completely misrepresenting it, since it clearly stated “Our study provided no cause for concern that PY [psilocybin] is hazardous with respect to somatic health”, so I phoned the study’s author at the University of Zurich, Prof Dr Felix Hasler, to inform him of Caroline Flint’s comments in the British media.

      Prof Hasler was so incensed at how a British government minister was misrepresenting his scientific study to justify banning Magic Mushrooms that he offered at his own expense to fly to England to meet Caroline Flint since he said she “clearly didn’t understand it”.

      I wrote to Caroline Flint to inform her she was misrepresenting this study and that the author wanted to fly from Switzerland to meet her so he could corrrect her. Needless to say all I received was a standard fob off reply and the Government, flying in the face of all evidence, proceeded to make perfectly safe Magic Mushrooms the same class as drug as heroin and crack cocaine.

      Prof Hasler’s study essentially said that Magic Mushrooms posed no risks to healthy individuals, but advised people suffering from from cardiovascular conditions, especially untreated hypertension, to abstain from using Magic Mushrooms.

      It will be of no surprise to many on here that the ultra-Blairite Minister, Caroline Flint (with her degree in film studies), ignored and deliberately misrepresented scientific advice from Prof Dr Felix Hasler Ph.D in order to push through draconian and unfair legislation.

      Remember how Prof Dr David Nutt – DM FRCP FRCPsych FMedSci, was sacked by then Home Secretary Alan Johnson (who left school at 15 to stack shelves for Tesco and then become a postman), because he refused to bow down to political pressures to not report truthful scientific advice about cannabis.

      After a bit of googling I managed to find Prof Dr Hasler’s report online…ler_6232_1.pdf

      and here on page 3…-mushrooms.pdf

    • Andy

      Keep up the good work.

      The mail is no better than the Murdoch press, it needs to go.

    • Anonymous

      We are witnessing the death throes of prohibition while its advocates make a desperate and frantic last stand, their final frenzy.

    • Katie Baker

      I would be interested to know where the funding comes from for this type of research. My brief forays into the research supporting the curative properties of cannabis lead me to conclude that it is in the interests of Big Pharma to keep it illegal so they can reap the benefits of producing ‘medicines’ containing cannabis elements.