Cannabis

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 29 March 2016.

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Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg Liberal Democrat, Sheffield, Hallam

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been prosecuted for cultivation of cannabis in each of the last five years for which records are available; in how many of those prosecutions a serious medical condition was cited in mitigation; and what the cost to the public purse was of those prosecutions.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences related to cannabis cultivation in England and Wales, from 2011 to 2014 (latest available), can be viewed in the table.

Those who grow cannabis on a larger scale can be prosecuted for the separate offence of production of cannabis.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences related to cannabis cultivation (1), England and Wales, 2011 to 2014 (2)(3)

2011

2012

2013

2014

944

319

214

127

(1) An offence under Section 6(2) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence 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.

(3) 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 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.

Information for 2010, along with information for any year concerning any mitigating circumstances offered, is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Separate breakdowns of the costs of individual prosecutions are not held centrally. Court proceedings data for 2015 will be published in due course.

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