CANNABIS WARNINGS: Published letter

Source: Essex Evening Gazette, UK

Pub Date: Thursday September 12

Pub LTE: Cannabis Warnings

Author: Don Barnard, Legalise Cannabis Alliance



I WOULD like to warn cannabis users of the possible consequences of the new police guidelines (New Guidelines over Cannabis, Gazette last Wednesday).

Contrary to popular belief, possession of any amount of cannabis in private or public is still illegal; you can still be arrested and face a jail sentence of up to 5 years.

Once the new guidelines are in force it is likely that the police will not seek out people with a joint in their pocket.

However, if the drug is found in a stop and search, or as a result of an operation involving a sniffer dog, the "three strikes" principle comes into play.

If police find up to 3g on a first offence, you will not be arrested but will get a recorded ticking off. The second time you are likely to be cautioned and on the third occasion (within a year) you will probably get a court summons.

If you have over 3g (as little as 3.5g) you are likely to be nicked as a dealer and face up to 14 years in jail.

If you use cannabis in inappropriate (aggravated circumstances) or challenge an officer's authority, you will be nicked for a public disorder offence and probably be cautioned or charged with possession of cannabis.

Is there an ulterior motive here? Are we to see an increase in police stop and search?

Don Barnard

Legalise Cannabis Alliance