What are the laws for cannabis in the UK? Cannabis is a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which means it’s illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.
Possession is punishable by up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both, while supplying and producing it can land offenders inside for up to 14 years and/or an unlimited fine.
Driving when high on cannabis is dangerous and illegal. If you’re caught driving under the influence, you may receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence.
If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a home, club, bar or hostel, they can prosecute the landlord, owner or anyone else who manages the premises.
Other Class B drugs include amphetamines, barbiturates, codeine, ketamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), and synthetic cannabinoids (such as ‘spice’).
But unlike other Class B drugs, cannabis comes under the discretionary warning scheme – a police officer can decide to issue you with a street warning (which doesn’t form a criminal record).
The officer can choose the warning if a cannabis holder is in possession of a small amount of cannabis, it’s the first time they’ve been caught with a drug, they have no previous criminal record and if they are compliant, non-aggressive and admit that the cannabis is for their own use only
If a person is caught with cannabis and it’s their second offence, the police can issue a fixed-term fee notice, which is an on-the-spot fine for £80.
If the holder pays that within 21 days, there’s no criminal record. The drug holder will be arrested and taken to the police station on a third occasion.
Cannabis plants contain a cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient which recreational users imbibe to get high.
Weed is very different to CBD, which is also a cannabinoid but contains little or no THC, so can be sold legally in the UK.
Patients can be prescribed medicinal cannabis containing THC by specialist doctors in the UK as of November 2018.
For all of the latest cannabis-related news and information, make sure you keep up to date with The Leaf Desk.