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Warrington anti-cannabis campaign creates storm

An anti-cannabis campaign, which was due to be launched in Warrington this week, has been slammed by the leader of drug policy reform group CLEAR.

Peter Reynolds has called Warrington Council’s proposed campaign “completely misguided.”

The campaign came to light after a newspaper accidently overlooked an embargo and reported on the proposals, a day before it became official.

The “It’s not just a joint” campaign has now been postponed but was due to run throughout July, August and September, with adverts on buses and at bus shelters in various locations around the town to illustrate the dangers of cannabis, as well as promotion via social media.

He added: “I’m not against people getting harm reduction advice but the claims made were totally wrong and false.”

However, Warrington Council has decided the campaign will now not go ahead until further notice. A council spokesperson said: “Uncertainty has arisen regarding some of the statistical data supporting the campaign. In the interests of ensuring robustness, we have decided to review the campaign.”

Reynolds believes the council had “no other option” but to postpone the campaign and has called for the councilor in charge of Health and Well Being to resign.

“It showed they [the council] were either ignorant or trying to mislead the public.” He said.

Posted 2:14 PM Thursday July 18, 2013. Filed under News,Warrington. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response to this entry. Pinging is currently not allowed.

21 Responses to Warrington anti-cannabis campaign creates storm

  1. a quiet man Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    in the last few weeks the government have ignored all the doctors and supported their paymasters in the drinks and tobacco industry. so why does the press not investigate why alcohol and tobacco are supported by the government and cannabis a far safer alternative according to the governments own senior advisers still being lied about . the truth is very clear on these substances so what is wrong with telling it to everyone? Well said peter i agree with your analyses glad you are getting the message out

  2. Roland Gyallay-Pap Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    The proposed campaign was utterly misguided and provided misleading and untrue information. In a day and age where so much information is available on the relative harmlessness (and indeed medicinal benefits) of cannabis, this error should never have occurred. Luckily, such reefer madness now no longer goes unchallenged. Public opinion is changing, it is time politicians started listening.

  3. Dave Allan Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with Peter. The fact that it took an outsider to make the council question their own figures is extremely worrying. It shows that they had decided the outcome before the figures were even reviewed.

    That’s not why these people are in power. Politicians shouldn’t have any agenda other than the people they represent. Listen to us!!!

  4. James B Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    It’s 2013, we have access to information at our fingertips yet governments and councils still believe that they can sway public opinion with lies and smear campaigns. It’s about time the that OUR TAX MONEY was spent on addressing the real problems people care about rather than those that line the pockets of big tobacco and alcohol.

    It’s a disgrace of the highest order.

  5. handytrim Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    It is astounding that they managed to get as far as they did without thinking that there would indeed be a backlash against the propaganda they intended to distribute.

    Nobody is saying that cannabis is 100% safe, it being a psychoactive substance after all, but compared with many of the legal drugs that are used by many millions of people, some responsibly others irresponsibly, in this country on a daily basis cannabis is safer than pretty much all of them.

    Caffeine is responsible for far more deaths than cannabis, in fact drinking water is responsible for more deaths than cannabis. Why isn’t there campaigns against caffeine and water abuse?

    The proven false claims that cannabis causes serious long-term mental health issues and the theory (again unproven) that it is a ‘gateway’ drug (the real gateway drugs of course being alcohol, caffeine and tobacco) are the reasons why our cowardly government refuse to end its prohibition. And in doing so they have created a massive black market that has caused untold damage to society across the land, put users at risk by consuming uncontrolled and regulated goods and gifted criminals with billions of (tax free) pounds every year.

    To try and launch a campaign titled “It’s not just a joint” is not only ludicrously stupid and ill-advised it is also a slap in the face to millions of every day people who have been persecuted and victimised by this government for choosing a far safer alternative to alcohol.

    This doesn’t even touch upon the disgusting treatment of those who require cannabis as a recognised and well researched medicine. GP’s are unable to prescribe Sativex (a whole cannabis tincture) to those who need it most as it costs far to much money. Yet if those people choose to grow that same medicine for themselves (endangering nobody in the process and causing no harm to others) they face the full force of the law. The UK is one of the last countries in the world to admit cannabis has medicinal properties!

    It is time we opened our eyes and looked at what the rest of the world is doing and get on-board before it is too late.

  6. clare richards Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Yes but why are they even talking about it then? Is it because they are just not even winning this then?

  7. Marti Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    If this council is so misguided on such an important cause and was prepared to smear the whole city with lies and false propaganda, then I think it would be good to investigate it further as they may have wasted tax payers money in other areas. For sure, people responsible for this “campaign” should be sacked.

  8. PPEB Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Even the country that started the war on drugs (USA) are legalising! Surely for once we should follow America’s footsteps! We normally do, when its for government’s gain!

  9. mandrill Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    This is just a symptom of a greater malaise. So ingrained in the political classes is the idea of their own untouchable infallibility that they are happily leading us to disaster, safe in the knowledge that at least their bank balances are healthy and that the ‘great unwashed’ (ie us) will swallow every drop of foetid ejaculate they produce. Democracy is the idea that the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. This is why I no longer participate in it. It is the biggest lie we are told; that our opinion actually matters. The truth is that it doesn’t, except where it coincides with the opinions of the ruling classes.

  10. Anonymous Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Warrington BC really got it wrong on this, how much money has this failed, ill thought out campaign cost the taxpayer? Well done to NORML UK for first highlighting this fiacso and congratulations on getting the council to backdown, well done NORML UK

  11. Dazla Fantastico Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I wonder where the money to back this most misguided of campaigns actually came from exactly, ads on bus stops etc don’t come cheap so who’s fronted the cash?????
    I’d also be interested to know how of warrington councils pension fund is invested in the tobacco industry???
    Most if not all local councils are heavily invested in tobacco.

  12. markymark Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Don’t forget the UKCSC (UK Cannabis Social Club) movement who did much of the hard work. Peter Reynolds was just one person out of hundreds who complained to the council. So well done UKCSC’s and NORML-UK! It is great to finally see some action within the cannabis movement!

  13. Derek Williams Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    How interesting, a NORML-UK supporter with my name, that’s nice (edit: the name has now been removed apparently by the webmaster). This Derek Williams anyhow is the webmaster of CLEAR and why anyone would post something from me congratulating NORML-UK is just strange, so I assume there really is another one of me

    But as it happens I know (because they kept mentioning it in posts they made) that some members of that group did have an input into this and I am happy to say well done to them.

    Indeed, what I would say is well done to everyone who complained about this dreadful campaign, be they cannabis campaigners or not.

  14. Paul Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    It’s shocking that Warrington Council is wasting OUR money on this nonsense. Most people I know think cannabis should be legalised (or at least decriminalised) and according to a poll on the Warrington Guardian website, 91% of people think cannabis should be legalised, so surely the council should support the views of local residents and lobby the government to legalise cannabis, not fritter our valuable council tax money on scaremongering lies. After all, THEY WORK FOR US!

  15. J Tavora Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Saying that cannabis is stronger than heroin is not only dishonest scaremongering but outright irresponsible.
    We need a formal apology from Warrington council and heads must roll.
    Well done to Peter Reynolds, CLEAR, NORML-UK, UKCSC and everybody who contributed for this evil campaign to be brought down. If we all worked together like this we could bring prohibition down faster

  16. truth huts Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Oh dear the skunk heads are out in force today. Get a grip. Weed is bad for you, makes you act stupid and leads to harder drugs. Now go away and get chilled.

    • JumpingJackFlash Reply

      July 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      “Weed is bad for you, makes you act stupid and leads to harder drugs.”

      Dude, you’re a moron. An ignorant one at that. Not only is weed NOT bad for you it is just about the most perfect damn environmentally friendly product in existence.

      Until industrialisation and the need to protect the timber and oil industries everybody knew cannabis hemp was one of the most valuable plants in the world. Change the name to ‘Marijuana’ and put out propaganda scare stories and voila get rid of the threat.

      Cigarettes and alcohol are drugs tried before Cannabis (and far more damaging). Or caffeine if you wanna get pissy. (Yes, Caffeine and Coffee were once outlawed drugs.)

      Now go away and educate yourself or remain a tool for vested interests.


      oh and you might wanna check out Rick Simpsons story.


      Or you can go back to watching X-Factor content in the knowledge that your ‘betters’ tell you the truth about shit.

  17. Ted Bear Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    The arrogance of Warrington Council is unbelieveable. I am not a Warrington resident, but if I were, this alone would be reason to refuse paying my council tax. Either this campaingn was payed for by lobbyists/alcohol&tobacco industry, or by Warringtons tax payers. If you are from Warrington, I suggest you find out from the council exactly how much you have personally payed towards this incredible catalogue of lies. I would also demand to know the sources from which these claims were based. I would be willing to bet there are NONE. The entire campaign is a TOTAL LIE.

    Think about the implications of this. Warrintons Coucillors must actually believe its inhabitants are so stupid they are incapable of making a simple internet search. If you are not in support of legalising Cannabis, you are entitled to your opinion. I fully support your right not to consume it. The thing is, you are paying to keep it illegal with your taxes. Is that a cost you are prepared to pay, forever, until you the day you die? Just so you can stop somebody else you have never met using Cannabis? What else could that money provide? More hospitals, Schools, Care for the Elderly, fixing the 5 year old pot holes, youth centres, public libraries, swimming pools etc. Every time a Cannabis arrest is made, those resources could have bee used to provied these services, or indeed tackle all the other crime that goes unpunished. Rapists routinely receive similar sentences to Cannabis growers, often shorter. And we question why?

    If you support criminalising Cannabis users, you are partially responsible for this.

    This madness has gone on too long now, lets build our nation, not break it down. The only people you will ever meet that actually wish they could pay tax are Cannabis users. Even before establishing rules to makes money from Cannabis, we could save money by simply ceasing to arrest anybody for Cannabis offenses. If the police are struggling to make savings, I suggest they start here! Either that or their jobs will be in the firing line, the money doesn’t grow on trees (unless they are Cannabis plants)!

    EDIT- Truth Huts (nice spelling), sorry you are simply wrong. Cannabis is not bad for you. It is good for you by almost every measure. It prevents Cancers, Diabetes, Alzheimers, Obesity, etc etc. I could go on but these are the main health issues in the UK so that alone should be enough. If you wish to research it do so, other wise you sound as nuts as Warrington Council. There are fewer than 1000 NHS admissions per year in the entire country for Cannabinoids, and that includes the legal highs that are not actually Cannabis, and are more harmful.

    There are over 1,000,000 admissions for alcohol, 48000 of which are mental health diagnosis. That means a Cannabis user has a 1 in 3-6000 chance (based on 3-6000000 users) of NHS mental health admisssion. An alcohol user has a 1 in 600 chance (30,000,000 users) of an NHS mental health diagnosis. By that measure, Alohol is therefore 5-10 worse for your mental health than Cannabis. So how exactly is Cannabis bad for you again?

  18. Hurts, not huts Reply

    July 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    When you start citing things, it’s usually a good idea to do some research. You clearly have not and so you’ve just outed yourself as very ignorant. You’re not a politician by any chance, are you?

  19. Luke Skywalker Reply

    July 20, 2013 at 12:35 am

    “Many people assume that marijuana was made illegal through some kind of process involving scientific, medical, and government hearings; that it was to protect the citizens from what was determined to be a dangerous drug.

    The actual story shows a much different picture. Those who voted on the legal fate of this plant never had the facts, but were dependent on information supplied by those who had a specific agenda to deceive lawmakers. You’ll see below that the very first federal vote to prohibit marijuana was based entirely on a documented lie on the floor of the Senate.

    You’ll also see that the history of marijuana’s criminalization is filled with:



    Protection of Corporate Profits

    Yellow Journalism

    Ignorant, Incompetent, and/or Corrupt Legislators

    Personal Career Advancement and Greed

    These are the actual reasons marijuana is illegal…..”

    (That’s for the US but the rest of the West fell into line quickly.)


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