US Marijuana Party

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cannabis users with just 10 joints face 14 years' jail

Philip Johnston, United Kingdom

Drug users caught in possession of enough cannabis for just 10 joints could be classified as dealers and face up to 14 years in jail under proposals being considered in Whitehall.

The Home Office is looking at new thresholds on the amount of illegal substances classified as merely possession rather than intent to supply.

There was an outcry last year when the Home Office proposed that cannabis smokers should be allowed to have enough of the drug to make more than 500 joints and still claim it was for personal use. This appeared to reinforce the more "softly, softly" approach to cannabis possession that was behind the decision to re-categorise the drug from a Class B to a Class C drug.

But the Home Office has now performed what one MP yesterday called a "dramatic flip-flop" and is proposing far smaller thresholds which campaigners said could end up sending casual users to prison as dealers.


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