Pubdate: Thu, 12 Sep 2002
Source: Essex Evening Gazette (UK)
Copyright: 2002 This Is Essex
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
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