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Drug Offences Notes

GDL Law Notes > GDL Criminal Law Notes

This is an extract of our Drug Offences document, which we sell as part of our GDL Criminal Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge/Bpp/College Of Law students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our GDL Criminal Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Revision: Criminal

[DRUG OFFENCES]
Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) 1971 Schedule 2: 3 categories of drugs Class A - cocaine, ecstasy, opium, heroin and 'magic mushrooms', LSD Class B - amphetamine, cannabis, cannabis resin, codeine, mephedrone ("meow meow") Class C - tranquilizers e.g. valium, GHB and Ketamine, steroids/testosterone

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Class that a drug is In will affect the maximum sentence for certain offences under the Act - 3 individual 'crimes' for each offence created by MDA

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Schedule 4 - provides indication of which court the offence should be tried in and -the maximum penalty for each offence, according to the classification of the drug

Offences covered:

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Simple Possession: S5(2)

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Possession with intent to supply: S5(3)

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Production: S4(2)(a)

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Being concerned in production: S 4(2)(b)

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Supply: S4(3)(a)

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Offering to supply: S4(3)(a)

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Being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug: S4(3)(b)

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Misuse of rugs on premises - occupier/manager - S8

Offences relating to possession Simple Possession

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Section 5(1) - unlawful to possess a controlled drug (not illegal)

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Section 5(2) - in contravention of S5(1) - it's section 5(2) which creates the offence

AR
? Possession - of a 'visible, tangible and measurable amount' 1

Revision: Criminal

[DRUG OFFENCES]
o

R v Boyesen: Amount only needs to be significant enough to suggest possession - doesn't need to be sufficient to be useable (here only a miniscule amount)

o

Must be in the physical control of the D

o

R v Bland: "Joint possession" - CA held that Bland not guilty, merely living with her guilty boyfriend didn't automatically make her guilty (no evidence of active participation)

? Lack of Authorisation (s7) o

Certain people may be authorised - e.g. doctors in all circumstances; police when arresting a drug dealer

MR

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Have to know you possess the item (R v Boyesen)

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But don't need knowledge of the nature of the item (Warner v MPC - if a person receives something in suspicious circumstances he can be inferred to have the requisite knowledge) o

If Fred says to Sarah , 'I've put something in the biscuit tin, don't look at it' - then Sarah knows she possesses even though she doesn't know what it is

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R v Martindale: D found in possession of Cannabis - he had forgotten it was in his wallet o

Knowledge does not depend on the D's memory - if D once knew it was in their possession then they have the requisite knowledge

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No need to know the quality of the substance for knowledge of possession: o

D is still guilty even if mistaken as to the type of drug which is in their possession (e.g. being in possession of heroin but thinking it is Cannabis) - Searle v Randolph

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But a mistake can sometimes prevent 'possession': o

R v McNarmara - defence under s28 where the D believes they are in possession of a completely different substance (e.g. being in possession of Cannabis but thinking it's talcum powder)

Specific defence to possession offence - S5(4) 2

Revision: Criminal

[DRUG OFFENCES]

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Section 5(4)(a) - taking possession and then destroying/delivering to lawful custody

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Section 5(4)(b) - taking possession with intent to deliver to lawful custody o

But you must take reasonable steps (R v Murphy)

Possession with intent to supply AR: Same as possession (possession + lack of authorisation) MR: Same with addition of 'intent to supply'

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Don't need to know precisely what type of controlled drug you intend to supply - just that you intend to supply what you possess o

R v Leeson: D claimed he didn't realise he had cocaine (thought it was amphetamine) - but this made no difference

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How to prove intent?
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Common piece of evidence = extravagant lifestyle which they have no visible means of supportingR v Morris: police surveillance of D for some time - Morland J (CA) said that the prosecution could use the fact the D had PS6,000 of cash as evidence, but the D can put forward an explanation

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Most common evidence is simply possession of a large amount of the substance :Quantity alone doesn't prove D had necessary intent but is strong evidence

Offences relating to supply Supply controlled drug: S 4(3)(a) Offering to supply: S 4(3)(a) AR
? To supply or offer to supply
? A controlled drug

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