09 Aug Complaint To South Yorkshire Police Concerning Inspector Paul Ferguson’s Statement On Cannabis
“This complaint is predicated on the fact that for at least 80 years the UK government through its departments and agencies such as the police has systematically misled and deceived the public about cannabis.”
Inspector Paul Ferguson, 4th August 2013.—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2013 4:36 PM
Subject: Complaint against Inspector Paul Ferguson, South Yorkshire Police
I wish to make a complaint against Inspector Paul Ferguson.
My complaint concerns a statement made by Ferguson and published in the press which amounts 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 42-46, Bethel Street, Norwich, NR2 1NR. For the purposes of correspondence, please contact me via email.
This complaint is predicated on the fact that for at least 80 years the UK government through its departments and agencies such as the police has systematically misled and deceived the public about cannabis.
I am a victim of misconduct by Ferguson 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 more than 20,000 registered supporters of CLEAR who are victims of Ferguson’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.
Ferguson is reported as saying:
“The use of cannabis is criminal. We know that the drug harms individuals, families and communities”
This is a false, inaccurate and misleading statement which attempts to deceive the public that Ferguson is an expert in the subject and that the public can rely on the accuracy and veracity of what he says. It seeks to support the failed government policy of prohibition of cannabis and demonstrates quite clearly that Ferguson is engaging in politics from which police officers are prohibited under schedule 1 of the Police Regulations 2003.
In making this statement, Ferguson has acted dishonestly, without integrity, fairness and impartiality. He has abused his authority by making statements which, as a 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.
The use of cannabis is not criminal. The only drug which it is a criminal offence to use in the UK is opium.
Although cannabis may have a detrimental effect on some users, the vast majority will experience beneficial effects. There is a large quantity of peer-reviewed, published scientific research that confirms the efficacy of cannabis as medicine.
Peer-reviewed, published scientific research also demonstrates that cannabis acts as a supplement to the body’s endocannabinoid system and helps to protect against autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/Marijuana-Gateway-Health-Cannabis-Alzheimers/dp/098342618X
Archaeological evidence shows that cannabis has been used for at least 5,000 years. People continue to use it today because of its beneficial effects. Three million people in Britain use it at least once per month and three tonnes is consumed every day (Atha et al 2011), All published evidence shows that those who experience detrimental effects are a fraction of one percent of users. See http://clear-uk.org/the-key-cannabis-evidence/
There is no evidence that cannabis use has a detrimental effect on families or communities. On the contrary, the evidence is that where cannabis is legally regulated and available, crime and violence is reduced, road traffic accidents and deaths are reduced, health outcomes are improved. Harms are caused to families and communities by such activities as illegal cannabis farms and street dealing but these are not harms of the drug itself, they are harms caused by the failed government policy of prohibition.
Quite clearly Ferguson’s statements are political in nature and amount to false propaganda. As soon as he engages in such communication with the public he has an obligation to be impartial and balanced in what he says. If he chooses to exclude information on the beneficial effects of cannabis and only refer to detrimental effects then that is a political act. When he chooses to provide inaccurate and unbalanced information to the public then that is a political act.
I accept that Ferguson 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. He is in breach of schedule 1 of the Police Regulations 2003 which states:
“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.”
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.