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Drugs: Cannabis

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In respect of juveniles, how many of the total offences for the possession of cannabis broughtto justice so far this year and in (a) 2005-06;(b) 2004-05; and (c) 2003–04 were made up of(i) penalty notices for disorder; (ii) reprimands;(iii) final warnings; (iv) prosecutions; (v) court appearances; and (vi) convictions; and in each case (i) to (vi) what was the proportion of the total offences for the possession of cannabis brought to justice; and [HL7863]

In respect of adults, how many of the total offences for the possession of cannabis broughtto justice so far this year and in (a) 2005-06;(b) 2004-05; and (c) 2003–04 were made up of(i) penalty notices for disorder; (ii) reprimands;(iii) final warnings; (iv) prosecutions; (v) court appearances; and (vi) convictions; and in each case (i) to (vi) what was the proportion of the total offences for the possession of cannabis brought to justice.[HL7864]

It is not possible to provide figures for the total number of cannabis possession offences brought to justice (OBTJ) as one component of the OBTJ measure—offences taken into consideration—cannot be broken down to the requested level of detail.

Available information relates to the number of persons dealt with at court in 2003 and 2004 under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 for unlawfully possessing cannabis. The number of cautions issued to persons aged 18 and over are also provided, as well as the number of reprimands and warnings, which replaced cautions for persons aged between 10 and 17 (inclusive) in England and Wales from June 2000.

Since 2004 those aged 18 and over caught in simple possession of cannabis may have been eligible for a police formal warning, which does not involve an arrest. Data have been available since April 2004; police issued 27,520 formal warnings between April and December 2004.