Cannabis: Crime

Home Department written question – answered on 26th November 2008.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effects of the reclassifying of cannabis on the number of people receiving a custodial sentence for offences relating to the drug each year.

Photo of Alan Campbell Alan Campbell Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Crime Reduction)

holding answer 20 October 2008

A full regulatory impact assessment (IA) has been published to accompany the parliamentary draft order to reclassify cannabis from class C to class B under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The IA can be found at:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/draft/em/ukdsiem_9780110846088_en.pdf

Based on a number of key assumptions, the IA forecasts the potential liabilities associated with the change in classification and the proposed accompanying enforcement approach, including an estimate of the number of offenders likely to receive a custodial sentence for a possession offence. For the supply, trafficking and production offences the IA set out the reasons why an assessment has not been made at this time. These include that fact that the maximum sentence prescribed by the 1971 Act is unchanged at 14 years; current Crown court guideline judgments relate to cannabis when it was a class B offence; and new guidelines from the Sentencing Guidelines Council are due shortly.

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