08 Apr PCC Complaint. The Daily Mail, 5th April 2013

pcclogo—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 5:10 PM
Subject: Complaint against The Daily Mail, issue dated 5th April 2013

Dear Sirs,

“The price of going soft on cannabis: Labour’s experiment ‘pushed up hard drug use and crime”, The Daily Mail 05-04-13

I wish to make a complaint concerning the above article which is still available online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2304261/The-price-going-soft-cannabis-Labours-experiment-pushed-hard-drug-use-crime.html

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 use my personal address as below.

1. The article breaches clause 1.i) of the code 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. This complaint needs to be seen in the context of the Daily Mail’s systematic campaign over many years of misinformation, dishonesty, falsification and distortion of evidence concerning cannabis: http://clear-uk.org/pcc-complaint-the-daily-mail-from-2001-to-2011/

4. The article is a disgraceful example of deliberately inaccurate, misleading and distorted journalism that shamelessly confuses comment, conjecture and fact. It reveals the true agenda of the Daily Mail, which, as a matter of course, lies and misleads about cannabis and seeks to promote hatred of cannabis users as a social group.

5. Many words have already been written tearing this travesty apart and I present them here as evidence of repeated and deliberate breaches of the Editors’ Code. Note in particular the article published by Dr Nils Braakmann, author of the study from Newcastle University, which the newspaper has so seriously misrepresented.

Dr Nils Braakmann, Newcastle University: https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/nubs/2013/04/05/response-to-media-coverage-of-early-stage-research-into-cannabis-use/

Peter Reynolds, leader of Cannabis Law Reform: http://clear-uk.org/deceitful-dishonest-daily-mail-falsifies-cannabis-research-again/

Professor Alex Stevens, University of Kent: http://www.kent.ac.uk/news/comment/stories/Criminologist-Refutes-Crime%20increase-Cannabis/2013

Ewan Hoyle, founder of Liberal Democrats for Drug Policy Reform: http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2013/04/07/comment-the-sloppy-journalism-misrepresents-cannabis-use

6. In the spirit of the Leveson Report, I call on the commission to require a very prominent correction and apology to be published in the newspaper.

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