You can now smoke weed in London and not get arrested

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by SiN-Drome, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Police will let most cannabis users off with verbal warning

    Police should no longer arrest the majority of people found in possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use, according to new guidelines issued yesterday by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

    Instead, offenders should receive a verbal warning on the street after giving their details and admitting possession of the drug, which would then be confiscated. Such a warning will not constitute a criminal record.

    However, the power of arrest for cannabis possession will remain. Officers can use their discretion to arrest if: the drug is consumed in public; the person is a repeat user; the possession is deemed to create public order difficulties, or cause a "locally identified policing problem"; or it is found around young people in places such as schools or youth clubs.

    Those arrested may still face prosecution or conviction, or a formal caution, both of which leave a criminal record.

    People under 18 found in possession of cannabis will receive a formal warning at a police station. Under-tens caught with the drug will be considered "at risk".

    The Government has decided to re-classify cannabis from a Class B drug to a Class C substance to reduce the police time spent on arresting or formally cautioning people found in possession. The aim is to focus on Class A hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

    David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, stressed that cannabis "will not be legalised or decriminalised".

    Under existing law, police can arrest for Class B drug possession, but not for possession of Class C substances.

    However, police did not want to lose the power of arrest in relation to cannabis. Therefore, as well as ordering the downgrading of cannabis, the Home Office has introduced a measure into the Criminal Justice Bill to retain the power of arrest. Both measures are scheduled to come into law next January, when ACPO will activate its guidelines.

    Andy Hayman, the chairman of the ACPO drugs sub-committee and Chief Constable of Norfolk, said: "In the spirit of the Home Secretary's decision to reclassify cannabis, the new guidance recommends that there should be a presumption against arrest.

    "In practice, this means that in the majority of cases officers will issue a warning and confiscate the drug. Police officers will be expected to use their discretion.

    "The reclassification of cannabis will allow police to focus more time and resources on Class A drugs. That said, despite reclassification, it remains illegal to possess cannabis."

    The guidelines do not specify the quantity of cannabis defined as for simple personal possession, as this could encourage dealers to carry around only amounts smaller than the prescribed limit. Police would also face difficulties in judging amounts.

    ACPO advises that street interviews "should be short but sufficient to prove the offence or identify a defence. This could be as little as two questions, such as 'What is this?' and 'Whose is it?'. This should be recorded contemporaneously in an officer's pocketbook.

    "This would reduce paperwork and bureaucracy for patrol officers."

    Incidents of possession dealt with by warnings will still be recorded as "cleared up" crimes.
  2. Here's another article.

    England To Ok Recreational Marijuana
    Weds, Sept 17, 2003

    Police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been given new guidelines to deal with cannabis users. Subject to Parliamentary approval cannabis will be downgraded to a Class C drug on January 29, 2004. The guidelines will take effect at about the same time.

    Officers in some forces already take a pragmatic approach and turn a blind eye to people in possession of small amounts of cannabis for their own use. Now federal law will make this standard across the board. Under the guidelines police will issue informal on-the-spot warnings and confiscate the drug.

    Police will still have the power to arrest anyone found with cannabis, though they are advised to use their own discretion. Those who smoke the drug in "public view" or in front of children are more likely to be arrested.

    Persistent cannabis offenders and those who use the drug in situations where there is a "fear of public disorder" are also more at risk of arrest.

    Dealers will continue to be arrested and face the same penalties as before - a maximum of 14 years in prison.

    The Home Office and the police hope the changes will mean a reduction in time officers spend arresting and processing cannabis offenders, allowing them to focus on more serious crimes.
  3. I have to say i keep seeing more and more threads about this on other countries such as Canada this is great news .

    p.s did they ever hold that vote on making the charges on pot in the US lower happen allready?
  4. why can they confiscate our weed? We grow or buy it. It is ours. What gives anyone the right to steal our cannabis?

  5. What's the legal scene like in France these days?
  6. i smoke weed everyday , whether it be in the suburbs or in the city , and i havent got my shit taken away since i was like 15. B.C. rules

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