THE council has been forced to pull the plug on their ‘It’s Not Just a Joint’ cannabis campaign after being flooded with complaints on social networking site Facebook.

Anger was sparked after the council’s class B drug awareness initiative included the comment: “Did you know that cannabis can be stronger than heroin?”

The campaign, which the council revealed cost £1,500, is now being reviewed after groups including Norml UK, which is working to reform cannabis laws, said the claims were ‘irresponsible and dangerous’.

Drug policy reform group Clear has also submitted a formal complaint to the council.

A spokesman said: “The council apologises to anybody who may feel that they were misled.

“But we certainly don’t consider it irresponsible or dangerous to point out the fact that cannabis use can have negative consequences, which was the intention of the campaign.

“The point intended to be made was that today’s strains of cannabis can be significantly stronger than previously.

“The term ‘stronger than heroin’ was inappropriate and was quickly withdrawn before the official launch of the campaign.

“Unfortunately the original artwork including that term had been included in a trailer of the campaign.”

The volume of angry comments led to Warrington Borough Council shutting down their Facebook page overnight last Tuesday after 4,000 people viewed the site and 598 comments were left during the day.

The spokesman added: “As the council takes very seriously its duty to monitor its public Facebook page and remove comments that use offensive language, and as there was no facility to monitor the page overnight, a decision was taken to suspend the page overnight and restore it the following morning when monitoring could resume.”

A ‘peaceful smoke-out’ has been planned by opposition campaigners outside the Golden Gates on Friday at 2pm to encourage the council to ‘re-evaluate’ their comments.