07 Jan Complaint To West Yorkshire Police Concerning Statements About Cannabis
—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2013 3:12 PM
Subject: Complaint against Bryan Dent, West Yorkshire drugs co-ordinator
I wish to make a complaint against Bryan Dent, who I understand is West Yorkshire Police’s drugs co-ordinator.
Despite my best efforts I have been unable to contact you to establish whether Dent is a police officer or a civilian employee. No contact number is provided on your website and the 101 number is unable to connect me with West Yorkshire Police from my location.
My complaint concerns statements made by Dent and published in the Yorkshire Post newspaper today, 7th January 2013. The article in question is available online: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/gangs-at-war-in-bid-to-control-cannabis-business-1-5285043
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 contact me via email.
I am a victim of misconduct by Dent which has caused me distress at his misuse of his office to promote myth, prejudice and propaganda about the links between cannabis and mental health problems. I am also acting on behalf of nearly 20,000 registered supporters of CLEAR who are victims of Dent’s misconduct for the same reasons, particularly those who reside in the West Yorkshire area and those who need cannabis as medicine for the treatment of conditions such as MS, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia and spinal injury.
As published in the Yorkshire Post, Dent said:
“the market has now become saturated with potent skunk more than double the strength it used to be and linked to a string of mental health problems…the widespread use of skunk could be a mental health timebomb”
These are false, inaccurate and misleading statements which attempt to deceive the public that Dent is an expert in the subject, the public can rely on the accuracy and veracity of what he says and that cannabis causes a great deal of mental health problems.
In making these statements, Dent has acted dishonestly, without integrity, fairness and impartiality. He has abused his authority by making statements which, as a police officer or civilian police employee, 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.
a) Dent’s words show that while he is ignorant of the evidence about cannabis he is ready to promote propaganda, myths and prejudice in support of a failed government policy.
b) There is no evidence that cannabis causes mental health problems. The only evidence is of correlation and no causative link has ever been established. There is a large amount of evidence that shows people use cannabis to self-medicate and relieve mental health problems.
c) In public health terms, based on hospital admission and NTA statistics, the incidence of cannabis related mental health problems is so tiny as to be insignificant.
I accept that Dent 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.