26 Jul Complaint To Warrington Borough Council

njaj—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: contact@warrington.gov.uk
Cc: toneill@warrington.gov.uk ; pwright@warrington.gov.uk ; jburns2@warrington.gov.uk ; committee@clear-uk.org
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 2:28 PM
Subject: COMPLAINT: It’s not just a joint campaign

Dear Sirs,

This is a preliminary notification of a complaint concerning the ‘It’s not just a joint’ campaign launched by your Drug and Alcohol Action team. I have already notified Ms Cathy Edge, PA to your chief executive, of this complaint.

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.

The campaign is inaccurate, misleading, alarmist, scaremongering and clearly intended to incite hatred of cannabis users as a social group. It is redolent of the hysterical ‘reefer madness’ campaigns from 1930s USA. It amounts to gross misconduct on the part of those responsible for it and it perpetrates a fraud and a disgraceful series of blatant lies on the people of Warrington.

Our legal team is presently investigating all possible avenues of complaint and we intend to pursue this matter until appropriate sanctions are taken against those responsible.

The claim that ‘cannabis can now be stronger than heroin’ is absurd and has no basis in science, medicine or any credible evidence.

The peer-reviewed, scientific evidence is that cannabis does not cause lung cancer. Similarly, the claims of “…paranoia, panic attacks, memory problems, slow thinking and hallucinations” are vastly overblown and exaggerated. These are extremely rare occurrences and the way the campaign presents these claims is grossly misleading and irresponsible. Councillor Pat Wright is quoted in Cheshire Today as saying:

“Our campaign sets out to illustrate the serious dangers related to the use of cannabis. The artwork depicts problems commonly caused by cannabis, including mental health issues, lung cancer, memory loss, panic attacks, paranoia, slow thinking and hallucinations. Many of these symptoms can often initially be ‘unseen’ or obscure but cannabis use is demonstrably causing significant harm to residents in Warrington.”

These claims are absolutely false and the evidence to disprove them is readily available. If necessary we shall also be launching a further complaint about Councillor Wright’s personal conduct. We are also in communication with CLEAR members who are residents of your borough and who may wish to join themselves in this complaint.

At this stage I am now formally requesting that you withdraw the campaign and publish a statement apologising for misleading the public. I would be grateful if you would confirm whether you are prepared to do this or whether we must continue with this complaint.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Reynolds

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