Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Irresponsible, Reckless BBC Broadcasts Dangerous Claim That So-Called ‘Skunk’ is More Harmful Than Heroin.

with 6 comments

Louisa Philips Kulukundis. Psychotherapist at Soul Counselling, counsellor at Steps2Recovery, member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

“I would say give me a room full of heroin addicts than skunk addicts…

I remember saying to my older son I would prefer you to take heroin than to smoke skunk…

There will be generations of kids with severe mental health issues.”

Source: ‘Cannabis: Time for a Change?’ From 28:20

There is huge and justifiable righteous anger about the idiotic words spoken by this woman on the BBC Newsbeat documentary ‘Cannabis: Time for a Change?’

It would be easy to launch into a tirade against Ms Kulukundis but her words and their crass stupidity speak for themselves. I wonder how many kids, listening to her recommendation on the BBC’s ‘yoof’ channel will think ‘Well I’ve smoked weed loads of times with no trouble, now this woman who’s an expert says heroin is safer, maybe I’ll see if I can get hold of some.’

I understand that Ms Kulukundis supports the idea that cannabis with a higher proportion of CBD should be legally available instead of so-called ‘skunk’ which with zero or very little CBD dominates today’s illegal market.  She deserves credit for this and I would be very surprised if she wasn’t already regretting the very serious mistake she has made.

Ms Kulukundis does however subscribe to the falsehood that cannabis is a major cause of mental health problems.  The facts of hospital admissions and GP/community health service treatment prove this is not the case.  While we shouldn’t turn away from protecting those very few people who can be vulnerable, it is about time that the media started reporting accurately instead of the gross distortions and misrepresentation seen recently, particularly from the brazenly dishonest and ‘fake news’ Daily Telegraph.

Far, far more serious and the place where responsibility really lies for this broadcast is with the BBC.  Its negligence in allowing these words to be broadcast is unforgivable and CLEAR is pursuing a complaint.  The BBC’s complaints procedure is of course notorious for its determination to brush aside viewers’ concerns with anodyne responses that mean nothing. Many don’t realise that until you get to stage three you’re not even communicating with the BBC but with Capita to whom it outsources its complaints handling.  We will pursue this complaint until it reaches the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit and if necessary we will appeal it to OFCOM which, with the demise of the BBC Trust, is now the independent regulator.

It is a shame that the BBC has spoiled what is a clear shift in its position on cannabis.  Instead of mindless obedience to the government’s bad science and propaganda it is now recognising that reform is the only rational way forward.  As usual its coverage is dominated by stereotypical caricatures of what it regards as cannabis users.  It still seems incapable of recognising that most of the three million regular cannabis consumers in the UK are not relics of the hippy era but hardworking people with families and ‘ordinary’ lifestyles.  It also allowed its debate programme ‘Newsbeat Debates. Legalising Cannabis’ to be dominated by the ‘Gateway Theory’, an idea comprehensively disproven many times over, which even our prohibitionist government recognises is invalid.  What is the point of debate if it is hijacked by misinformation and not informed by science and evidence?

The BBC should take the initiative in apologising, correcting and broadcasting a full explanatuion of why Ms Kulukundis’ claim is scientifically inaccurate and extremely dangerous. Sadly, it will almost certainly have to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide any meaningful response at all.





6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] for Counselling and Psychotherapy provoked “huge and justifiable anger,” according to activist Peter Reynolds of […]

  2. […] and Psychotherapy provoked “huge and justifiable anger,” according to activist Peter Reynolds of […]

  3. […] and Psychotherapy provoked “huge and justifiable anger,” according to activist Peter Reynolds of […]

  4. Steps2Recovery was apparently formed by and run by former addicts practising the 12 steps, a quasi-religious program that uses some very questionable ideas and is increasingly insinuating itself into the mainstream of recovery. It’s certainly not a guarantee of professionalism or a reflection of all methods of recovery. Her membership of BACP should certainly be reviewed after making such a patently silly statement. If this is a sample of what she is telling clients she is unfit to be counselling people.
    12 step proponents tend to be dognatic and inflexible, insist total abstinence is the answer, and tell you you have a disease, (pseudo science), you will always be sick, and you are special and different, none of which are appropriate to be saying to extremely vulnerable people.
    Rehabs such as the one she apparently helped to set up are lazy, often a con, and sometimes bordering on abusive. They also use restrictive employment tactics to only employ people in 12 step recovery. They send clients off to 12 step meetings where there is no supervision or control and sexual predation and other forms of abuse are common. The rest of their program consists of ‘step work’ from a religeous program over 100 years old, heavy on guilt and shame and confession, often delivered by people who’s only qualification is they have become successful in the cult-like 12 step world. They can do more damage than good very easily, especially as their program teaches exclusivity, they have the only right answer. This idiotic woman seems to be a perfect example.


    September 1, 2017 at 12:44 pm

  5. […] Peter Reynolds, from the organization CLEAR, expressed his frustration in a blog post, saying, “It would be easy to launch into a tirade against Ms Kulukundis but her words and their […]

  6. […] and Psychotherapy provoked “huge and justifiable anger,” according to activist Peter Reynolds of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: