Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Kathy Gyngell

Massive, Long Term Study Shows No Health Harms From Cannabis. Where Are The Headlines?

leave a comment »

apa-logoLong term cannabis use by teenage boys is not linked to later physical or mental health issues according to a very large, long term study published by the American Psychological Association.

Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness

Where are the front page headlines, the hysterical editorials, the hand wringing, bleating and scaremongering from the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail? They seem to be very quiet on this one. To be fair the Mail has covered it but the leaders in anti-cannabis propaganda at the Telegraph have ignored it and so have the BBC. What a surprise! Even Jon ‘Skunk’ Snow, the latest journalist to sacrifice his integrity on the altar of reefer madness, is completely silent. No grandstanding opportunities on this one.

Jon 'Skunk' Snow

Jon ‘Skunk’ Snow

This is a huge study of 408 males tracked from adolescence into their mid-30s.  The results have been published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and comprehensively demolish the many, much smaller, ‘snapshot’ studies that the Mail, the Telegraph and the BBC have given massive prominence to in the past.

Even more important than the study itself is the insight this provides into the blatant dishonesty, misrepresentation and falsehood which UK newspapers and TV routinely engage in when reporting on cannabis. The usual bigots and deceivers such as Kathy Gyngell, Dr Max Pemberton, Simon Heffer and Melanie Phillips are notable only for their absence.  This is the way the debate on cannabis is conducted in the UK.  The media misrepresent the evidence, report only what supports their editorial position and our weak, cowardly political leaders dutifully follow what Fleet Street tells them to do.

The Barclay Brothers, Owners of the Daily Telegraph

The Barclay Brothers, Owners of the Daily Telegraph

What is particularly important is that this is a longitudinal study, following real people in real life over a long period of time. It’s a large number of people and its accuracy and reliability eclipses virtually all the research that the prohibition supporters report on at great length.

Paul Dacre, The Butcher of Truth at the Daily Mail

Paul Dacre, The Butcher of Truth at the Daily Mail

This is the real cannabis psychosis. A pathological dishonesty affecting editors, journalists, civil servants and politicians. Nothing demonstrates the seriousness of this widespread illness than the lack of coverage given to this remarkable research.

Remember this next time you see some ridiculous newspaper column misinforming about cannabis or some pompous fool of an MP bellowing their ignorant views in the House of Commons.

I Gladly Accept The Title Of Cannabis Zealot

with 4 comments

Last August, I complained about the conduct of Yvonne Davies, a Manchester magistrate.  This week, remarkably, the regulatory process worked.  She was reprimanded and, as a result, chose to resign. This was the correct decision.  It is impossible for someone with such an extremist opinion to judge anyone else.  She is an anti-cannabis crusader and no magistrate can properly take that position.

The Manchester Evening News led the reporting which was quickly picked up by the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.  I telephoned the Manchester newspaper to protest that they had merely used the opportunity to re-publish all Ms Davies’ hysterical scaremongering.  I’ll be honest.  I was concerned the whole thing was starting to backfire, just giving more publicity to Ms Davies’ false and misleading claims.

Some cocky junior Mancunian journalist sneered so hard down the phone at me that I could feel it.  When I explained about the endocannabinoid system and the neuroprotective qualities of cannabis he turned into a particularly ignorant and stroppy Gallagher brother and I realised there was no point.  I wrote a letter to the editor for publication instead.

I also wrote a letter for publication to the  Daily Telegraph.

Then, Tuesday afternoon, I was enjoying a brief glimpse of sunshine outside my friends pub, The Falcon, in Queen’s Park, west London.  My phone rang.  It was the Daily Mail and I chatted away with Nazia Parveen, the journalist, for a good fifteen minutes.  The result you see below in print and the online version is here.

The Daily Mail 26th June 2013. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

The Daily Mail 26th June 2013. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Trust the Mail to try and twist the story into something it isn’t.  I wish I had the power to force a few people to quit.  I’d start with Theresa May, move on to Jeremy Browne and rattle through Cameron, Osborne, Paul Dacre, Kathy Gyngell, Melanie Philips and by the time I got to the judiciary there’d be plenty more senior than Ms Davies with much greater reason to go (see here for a few examples).

A ‘cannabis zealot’ I am.  Just as the 1st century Jewish sect who fought against the Romans, I will stand every time, in the face of whatever odds, use whatever means, to tell the truth about cannabis. It is an immense gift on our planet in so very many ways – which is exactly why it is demonised, why it is only its harms that are discussed and never its benefits.

Yes.  I gladly accept the title.  A ‘Cannabis Zealot’ am I.