08 Apr PCC Complaint. The Daily Telegraph, 8th April 2013

pcclogo—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
To: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 6:50 PM
Subject: Complaint against The Daily Telegraph, issue dated 8th April 2013

Dear Sirs,

“Mourning father blames cannabis for son’s death”, The Daily Telegraph 08-04-13

I wish to make a complaint concerning the above article which is still available online at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9979449/Mourning-father-tells-how-son-descended-into-mental-illness-after-cannabis-use.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.

N.B. This article was originally published with the headline “Mourning father blames cannabis for son’s death” later changed to Mourning father tells how son descended into mental illness after cannabis use.” This provides an insight into the motivation of the newspaper which, irrespective of the truth and of what the father actually said, wishes to demonise cannabis in order to mislead readers instead of giving due importance to the large quantity and variety of far more dangerous drugs concerned and the father’s true opinion.

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. The headline, both in its original form and as revised, is inaccurate, misleading and grossly distorts both the evidence and the father’s true opinion which as stated is: “With hindsight I am pretty sure that James’s mental illness had started in late 2005 possibly as a result of his cocaine use”

4. 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