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Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971

Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 6 February 1980

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asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland if he is satisfied with the operation of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in view of the recent judgments in the High Court of Justiciary in the cases of Gallagher and McLeod concerning definition of possession of drugs.

These cases involved contravention of section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, that is, being in possession of a controlled drug unlawfully. The Crown does not require to prove that the drug found in the possession of the accused is "capable of being used". In making these decisions the Scottish Court of Appeal specifically disapproved the English case of R. v. Carver [1978], 2WLR, 872 in which it was held that possession of a quantity so minute that it is not usable is not possession within the meaning of section 5 of the Act. I respectfully agree with the decision of the Scottish Court.