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Complainant Name:
Mr Peter Reynolds

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Mail on Sunday


Mr Peter Reynolds complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published a comment piece reporting on the alleged link between the use of cannabis and mental illness which contained inaccuracies in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication in the newspaper of the following letter from the complainant:

Defending cannabis

When Peter Hitchens writes about cannabis your readers are guaranteed good entertainment but, while he is entitled to his opinion, the truth is determined by scientific evidence.

Cannabis use, particularly at a young age, increases the risk of mental illness but there is no proof that it causes it. In 2009, one study estimated you would need to stop 2,800 heavy users or 30,000 light users ever using it to prevent one case of schizophrenia.

Annual hospital admissions for mental and behavioural disorders relating to cannabis average 750 and for alcohol 47,000. Adjust for the number of users and you are still six times more likely to experience mental problems with alcohol than with cannabis.

These facts expose the terrible hypocrisy and waste in Government policy. To protect children, to realise the benefits of cannabis as medicine and to save the £6-£9 billion that is wasted every year by prohibition, we need to tax and regulate cannabis now!

Peter Reynolds,
Leader, Cannabis Law Reform

Date Published: 20/04/2012

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