06 Mar Greater Manchester Police Promise “Cannabis Famine”

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has launched a campaign under the banner “Police promise cannabis famine for Greater Manchester”.

It’s the usual nonsense about cannabis bringing “misery” and how users are forced “to turn to theft and burglary to fund their addiction.”

Then Detective Superintendent John Lyons, from Titan (North West Regional Organised Crime Unit), says: “Cannabis is not the harmless drug it is often perceived to be…”

This is the police force and senior police officers getting involved in politics and spreading false propaganda in a way that amounts to misconduct. It is entirely improper. Whilst police officers have a duty to uphold the law as it stands, it is wrong that they should seek to prop up failing government policies with misinformation and cod science.

Previously, similar complaints made directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have got nowhere. I’m therefore starting with GMP itself this time. Let’s see if they will respond appropriately.

—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: Complaints@gmp.police.uk
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 1:09 PM
Subject: “Police promise cannabis famine for Greater Manchester”

Dear Sirs,

I wish to complain about the politicking and publication of false science that GMP is indulging in with its campaign against cannabis.

I am the elected leader of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) a UK political party with almost 10,000 registered supporters. We recognise that the police are as much victims of the misguided policy of prohibition as any other part of society. We also recognise that you have a duty to uphold the law as it presently stands.

There is no doubt that organised crime cannabis farms are a scourge on society but they are entirely the product of prohibition. Three million people in Britain use cannabis regularly and more than three tonnes is consumed every day. You will never stop it and the harder you clamp down the more the price will go up and the more ruthless and violent the criminal gangs will become.

It is appalling that the crimes of human trafficking often associated with these farms are regarded as less serious than growing cannabis. It is a disgrace that paedophiles and violent thugs are commonly treated more leniently by the criminal justice system than those who grow cannabis.

Why can you not distinguish between those who grow a few plants for themselves, often for medicinal use, and those who are involved in organised crime?

We recognise that you have a difficult job to do but you go too far when you publish false propaganda such as:

“Cannabis is not the harmless drug it is often perceived to be.”
Detective Superintendent John Lyons, Titan,

Of course, nothing is harmless but, comparatively speaking, cannabis is much less harmful than any other recreational drug including alcohol and all prescription and OTC medicines. In terms of harmfulness cannabis ranks alongside caffeine. This is clearly demonstrated by the latest NHS publication “A summary of the health harms of drugs”: http://www.nta.nhs.uk/uploads/healthharmsfinal-v1.pdf

Det. Supt. Lyons’ words are therefore grossly misleading. They amount to politicking, false propaganda and misconduct. If you will not take appropriate action including issuing a correction we will be taking the matter to the IPCC.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Reynolds

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