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Cannabis: Misuse

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were (a) proceeded against, (b) found guilty and (c) imprisoned for dealing in cannabis in each of the last five years, broken down by age. (200551)

The number of people proceeded against at magistrates courts for dealing in cannabis and subsequently found guilty at all courts, and sentenced to immediate custody broken down by certain age groups in England and Wales for the years 2002 to 2006 can be viewed in the following table.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

Number of people proceeded against at magistrates courts for dealing in cannabis and found guilty at all courts, and sentenced to immediate custody broken down by certain age groups in England and Wales for the years 2002-061,2,3,4

Age group

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Proceeded against

10-17

282

275

224

239

191

18-20

485

565

413

480

418

21 and over

1,778

1,950

1,505

1,457

1,607

Total

2,545

2,790

2,142

2,176

2,216

Found guilty

10-17

205

198

182

180

152

18-20

339

386

313

308

269

21 and over

1,436

1,408

1,208

898

921

Total

1,980

1,992

1,703

1,386

1,342

Sentenced to immediate custody

10-17

14

9

12

11

11

18-20

88

105

74

53

58

21 and over

703

583

490

343

272

Total

805

697

576

407

341

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Data include the following offence descriptions and corresponding statutes:

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Sec 4(3) [Class ‘B’ Drug].

Supplying or offering to supply (or being concerned in supplying or offering to supply) a controlled drug: Cannabis.

Supplying or offering to supply (or being concerned in supplying or offering to supply) a controlled drug Class C Cannabis and Cannabis resin

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Sec.4(3).

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Sec 5(3) [Class ‘B’ Drug].

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: Cannabis.

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply Class C Cannabis and Cannabis resin.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Sec.5(3)

3 Cannabis was reclassified from a class B drug to a class C drug on 29 January 2004.

The data in this table include offences relating to cannabis dealing whether reported to the Office for Criminal Justice Reform as a class B or a class C drug.

4 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.

However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts, other agencies, and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

Court proceedings data held by RDS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice