18 Nov Dr Robert Lefever, The General Medical Council, The Daily Mail And The Press Complaints Commission

Dr Robert Lefever is a Daily Mail columnist. In October he wrote an absurd and spectacularly ignorant article about cannabis titled “Even the Dutch think skunk drives you mad”. I submitted a PCC complaint which you can see here. Essentially, Dr Lefever claimed that cannabis available today has been “genetically modified” and that it contains “25 times as much THC as there used to be”. This from a man who trades on his status as a doctor and presents his opinions as those of an expert. He writes regularly for the Daily Mail on health, medicine and NHS matters. He says he knows “how to build long-term relationships and help people to heal their depression and stop their addictive or other destructive behaviour.”

I have yet to hear back from the PCC but I expect it to fail to uphold the Editors’ Code yet again. It is proving itself to be much, much worse than the toothless poodle it has long been regarded as. It is, in fact, corrupt and dishonest. I use those words deliberately after careful consideration and based on clear cut documentary evidence. Some of its recent decisions have been beyond belief, beyond even a parody of a bunch of sleazy hacks covering up for each other. I intend to explain the truth about the PCC when I am called to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.

In addition to my PCC complaint, I also complained to the General Medical Council (GMC). I said that Dr Lefever had published false science and deception. “In my view, it amounts to gross professional misconduct and anyone who is prepared to indulge in such dishonesty is not a fit and proper person to practice medicine.”

This week I received a reply from the GMC. It seems that Dr Lefever does not even have a certificate to practise medicine. No action can therefore be taken against him but my complaint will lie on his file and be considered should he ever apply to practise again.

Meanwhile, Dr Lefever continues to trade on his status as a doctor in the Daily Mail. Today, astonishingly, he writes about the extremely harmful and addictive drug tobacco “I support the right of people to smoke cigarettes, or do other stupid and dangerous things, provided that they pay for the consequences – to themselves and to others – that come from their choice of personal behaviour.”

Contrast that with his attitude towards cannabis

The hypocrisy of this man is breathtaking. His behaviour is a perversion of the Hippocratic oath. He is a scoundrel, a charlatan and a quack. Such are the ProHos that we are up against.