20 Sep PCC Complaint. Manchester Evening News, 2nd September 2011

—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: [email protected]
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 2:14 AM
Subject: Complaint against the Manchester Evening News, issue dated 2nd September 2011

Dear Sirs,

“Hospitals in Greater Manchester to treat patients with cannabis”, the Manchester Evening News, 02-09-11

I wish to make a complaint concerning the above article which is still available online at: http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/health/s/1457775_hospitals-in-greater-manchester-to-treat-patients-with-cannabis

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 use my personal address as below.

1. This article breaches the Editors’ Code Of Practice clause 1.i) in that it publishes inaccurate, misleading and distorted information.

2. It also breaches clause 1.iii) in that it fails to distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

3. The article is presented as a news story, not an opinion piece. It should therefore be concerned only with facts – unless comment or conjecture is clearly distinguished.

4. In the second paragraph, the article states “Experts believe the drug can relieve pain by numbing muscles – and say it does not give users a ‘high’.”

This is inaccurate, misleading and distorted information. It is conjecture or comment presented as fact when, in either case, it is entirely false. It is deliberately misleading propaganda promoted by GW Pharmaceuticals in an attempt to distinguish its product, Sativex from cannabis when, in fact there is no substantive difference. Users of Sativex experience a high just like users of any other form of cannabis.

I have tried Sativex myself. Four sprays, the recommended amount, produces a “high”, easily recognisable as the same effect as from high-CBD varieties of cannabis.

These five testimonials are from other people who have used Sativex.

“I am prescribed Sativex and can confirm that I get a body high from using it, not as much as a pure joint filled with just pure cannabis, but it does effect the way I think and the way my body feels.” Desmond Humphrey

“I sprayed Sativex 4 times under my tongue, as first I could taste the mint flavour, however the overbearing taste of the cannabis soon came through and it certainly tasted like real cannabis. The effects came on quite quickly and within half an hour I felt like I had eaten a very strong space cake like the ones sold in the coffeeshops of Amsterdam. In other words, I got very stoned.” Chris Bovey.

“Sativex affects me in the same way as Bediol, the high-CBD medicinal cannabis from Bedrocan, the Dutch government supplier. Of course it gets me high.” Clark French

“Proper medicinal grade herbal cannabis works best for my spinal injury but Sativex is OK. It helps with the pain and gives me the same relaxing effect.” Jim Starr

“Upon two sprays under the tongue, I admit I felt nothing, that is until after around an hour when I could feel the effects slowly creep up on me. Colours got brighter and ideas started flowing just like when I smoked herbal cannabis. Things felt better and more interesting than usual and I found myself giggling at the smallest of things. To summarise, I was high.” Yumita Yumara

However, conclusively, in its own documentation, the Sativex Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC), a statutory document, on page 6, item 4.8, GW Pharmaceuticals reports that “euphoric mood” is a common side effect: http://www.gwpharm.com/uploads/spc-doc.pdf

5. In the 10th paragraph, the article states “…patients using the spray do not experience the euphoria associated with the illegal recreational use of cannabis.”
As shown above, this is inaccurate, misleading and distorted information.

6. In the 15th paragraph, the article states “The drug, created by GW Pharmaceuticals, is made from two cannabinoid substances found in the marijuana plant, THC and CBD.”
This is inaccurate, misleading and distorted information. It is deliberately misleading propaganda promoted by GW Pharmaceuticals in an attempt to distinguish its product, Sativex from cannabis when, in fact there is no substantive difference. Sativex is an whole plant extract of cannabis and contains all the 100+ cannabinoids that naturally occur in the plant.

7. In the 15th paragraph, the article states “…scientists say it is impossible to ‘get high’ from the treatment.” As shown above, this is inaccurate, misleading and distorted information.

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.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Reynolds