Possess a Controlled Drug of Class B – Cannabis / Cannabis Resin

(Applies to simple possession only. In force from 28/01/2009)

Contrary to section 5(2) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

  • PND Code: DA22
  • CCCJS: MD71530
  • Notifiable & Recordable
  • HO Class: 092/61
  • £90 fine

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Additional considerations for Cannabis Possession:

Intervention framework:

  • 1st occasion: Cannabis Warning
  • 2nd occasion: PND
  • 3rd occasion: Arrest

Person aged over 18.

  • Drug is intended for the person’s own use
  • Offence did not take place in the vicinity of or would cause a risk of harm to young persons
  • Person with no previous drugs convictions
  • Person who is not known locally as a persistent offender

Aggravating factors that may prevent PND issue for possession of cannabis:

  • Smoking cannabis in a public place
  • Possession in the vicinity of premises frequented by young people
  • Locally identified problem (e.g. Disorder hotspot)

Key Considerations

• Person must be aged 16 or over
• There must be sufficient evidence to support a successful prosecution
• The offence is not too serious and is of a nature suitable for being dealt with by a penalty notice
• The suspect is suitable, compliant (e.g. does not refuse the PND) and able to understand what is going on (e.g. is not too intoxicated or does not have a mental disorder)
• The offence involves no-one below the age of 16 (e.g. as a co-offender)
• There is sufficient evidence as to the suspect’s age, identity and place of residence exists (e.g. suspect is not homeless or a foreign national who is resident outside the British Isles)

A Penalty Notice is not Appropriate:

• where there has been any injury to any person;
• where there has been a substantial financial or material loss to the private property of an individual;
• where the terms of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 might apply;
• for any offence related to domestic violence;
• for any offence where there are aggravating factors (hate crime, e.g. racially motivated or homophobic);
• for any football-related offences;
• where the suspect is already subject to a custodial sentence (including a Home Detention Curfew) or a community penalty other than a fine (including an Anti-Social Behaviour Order);
• if the suspect appears likely to claim the statutory defence to a section 5 Public Order Act 1986 offence.

Updated on 2021-11-12
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