I wish to make a complaint against Inspector Ian Joseph of West Mercia Police concerning statements made by him and published in the Redditch Standard newspaper on 20th November 2012. The article in question is available online: http://www.redditchstandard.co.uk/2012/11/20/news-Half-a-million-pound-cannabis-factory-raided-56102.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 P.O.Box 674, Salfords, Redhill, RH1 9BN. For the purposes of correspondence, please contact me via email.
I consider that I am a victim of Inspector Joseph's misconduct which has caused me distress at his misuse of his office to promote myth, prejudice and propaganda as well as fear, consternation and hatred of cannabis users as a social group. I am also acting on behalf of nearly 20,000 registered supporters of CLEAR who are victims of Inspector Joseph's misconduct for the same reasons, particularly those who reside in the West Mercia area and those who need cannabis as medicine for the treatment of conditions such as MS, Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia and spinal injury.
As published in the Redditch Standard, Inspector Joseph said: "Drugs cause a great deal of misery for people, not only users and their families, but in terms of associated crime, as use of cannabis leads on to other drugs, with addicts then turning to theft and burglary to fund their habit."
This is a false, inaccurate and misleading statement which attempts to deceive the public that:
a) Inspector Joseph is an expert in the subject and the public can rely on the accuracy and veracity of what he says
b) cannabis causes a a great deal of misery for people
c) cannabis is an addictive drug
d) cannabis leads on to other drugs
e) cannabis users turn to theft and burglary to fund their habit.
In making this statement Inspector Joseph has acted dishonestly, without integrity, fairness and impartiality. He has abused his authority by making statements which are false, inaccurate and misleading but which, as a police officer, he knows that the public are likely to believe without question. He has also acted in a way that discredits the police service and will undermine public confidence.
a) Inspector Joseph's words show that while he is ignorant of the evidence about cannabis he is ready to promote myths and prejudice.
b) There is no evidence that cannabis causes a a great deal of misery for people. On the contrary, millions of people use cannabis because of its pleasant, relaxing and therapeutic effects.
c) Approximately 9% of cannabis users exhibit signs of mild dependence. Prevalence and withdrawal symptoms are equivalent to caffeine dependence. (Hall et al 2001, Coffey et al 2002, Copeland et al 2004, DSM-IV)
d) The "gateway theory" that cannabis leads onto other drugs is universally discredited and there is no evidence at all that use of cannabis causes use of other drugs. The consensus conclusion of all government appointed experts on the subject is "There is no evidence that there are physiological mechanisms leading to more harmful drugs" (8.14 Cannabis: Classification And Public Health, ACMD 2008)
e) Cannabis use is not associated with acquisitive crime. The consensus conclusion of all government appointed experts on the subject is "evidence available to the Council does not suggest that cannabis use is a cause of acquisitive crime" (12.13 Cannabis: Classification And Public Health, ACMD 2008)
I accept that Inspector Joseph has a duty to uphold the law as it presently stands, It is however entirely improper for him to engage in politicking, scaremongering, the promotion of myth, prejudice and propaganda. The public are likely to be alarmed by his words which are clearly intended to cause fear, consternation and hatred of cannabis users as a social group.
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.