None of this is legal advice or any kind of advice. It’s an explanation of what I think.
Cannabis is legal - that’s what I believe. It's your choice whether you agree with me or not. The fact is, I’ve been detained by the police every time I’ve publicly handed out cannabis and I’ve never been charged, fined, prosecuted, stopped or even identified.
My free service ‘Outlaw Legal Aid’ has had collectively over 100 acquittals / dismissals / no further actions for the accusation of unlawful cannabis possession / use.
I’ve been telling my supporters for over a year now - If you’re unsure; accept nothing, dispute everything and request evidence for all claims made.
I don’t recommend talking to the police, but at the same time it’s important to know that there’s no point having a good defence in court if you haven't mentioned it to the police. The court can draw an adverse inference - “it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court”. It's also a bad move if you mention to the police something that you DON'T want to be mentioned in court!
With that in mind, hypothetically: defending the accusation of ‘unlawful possession/use of cannabis’ can be as easy as assuring the police from the outset that ‘I’m not unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance’. This could mean that I’m legally in possession of a controlled substance - or it could mean I’m not in possession of any controlled substances.
If I’m arrested and questioned, I repeat myself - I don't explain myself - ‘I’m not unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance’. The only thing I would mention to the police is what I will later rely on in order to successfully defend myself.
There’s a lot of information out there but most of it won’t actually help. Don’t challenge the law as a defence, 100,000+ people have made that mistake. We all know the law is wrong, against our human rights and that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol but no amount of evidence will allow you to challenge the law as a defence, even if the judge agrees with you. You would have to bring your own legal proceedings in order to have that evidence heard.
"Nobody can impose their beliefs on you - you are the only person who can permit a belief to be true or not for you."
Cannabis is legal:
It’s clear to me that ‘cannabis’ is legal and therefore its use and possession is defendable - that’s without even explaining why the Government’s list of drugs controlled under the misuse of drugs legislation clearly states that ‘cannabis’ is not a controlled or scheduled substance.
It's important to understand that over time there have been multiple ‘changes’ to the commonly referred to ‘Misuse of Drugs Act 1971’, but there are still many misconceptions and contradictions surrounding the current cannabis laws.
The fact that the ex-drugs minister (responsible for the UK’s drugs policy) and ex-prime minister (Theresa May) are both married to people who own or profit from growing acres of cannabis in the UK should tell you that ‘cannabis’ isn’t illegal anymore. This kind of business wouldn’t be allowed in accordance with the unamended, original Misuse of Drugs Act in 1971.
A significant law change in 2018 created and legalised the phrase ‘Cannabis Based Medicinal Products’, which also made the scheduling of cannabis within the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act inconsistent with its claim that ‘schedule one substances have no medicinal value’.
Despite this, the Home Office continues to advise that ‘cannabis is a prohibited schedule one substance with no medicinal value’, and ‘cannabis based medicinal products’ are legal with medicinal value. Interestingly, the Home Office has admitted that any advice given to a press source or freedom of information request is not legal advice and could be legally incorrect.
With that considered, most cannabis and its use fits the criteria for a legal ‘cannabis based medicinal product’, known as a ‘CBMP’:
Regulation 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations defines a ‘CBPM’ as:
“cannabis-based product for medicinal use in humans” means a preparation or other product, other than one to which paragraph 5 of part 1 of Schedule 4 applies, which—
(a) is or contains cannabis, cannabis resin, cannabinol or a cannabinol derivative (not being dronabinol or its stereoisomers);
(b) is produced for medicinal use in humans; and—
(i) a medicinal product, or
(ii) a substance or preparation for use as an ingredient of, or in the production of an ingredient of, a medicinal product;
If a person is using or in possession of a ‘cannabis product’ for a simple medicinal reason (not medical reason), the cannabis could be a legal CBMP.
You are allowed to collect somebody's prescription and medication for them in the UK - cannabis and cannabis flower is a prescribable medicine.
To be clear, this is regarding possession of or using a CBPM - there are many strict provisions and restrictions for supplying a CBPM.
There’s a large amount of evidence that shows none of the cannabis plant should be a controlled substance and cannabis doesn't fit the criteria for a schedule one substance; but if you’re being charged with an offence, you cannot challenge the law as a defence. What you can do is use the outdated laws to your advantage; request evidence for all claims made, don’t accept anything you are unsure of, dispute everything you are unsure of, use their definitions and provide solid defences with references made to their laws.
A good place to begin when defending any charge is to consider that some of the many criminal procedure rules and strict conduct that the prosecution and police must follow may have been unjustifiably neglected or ignored. If there are issues that are raised correctly in court at the earliest possible opportunity, there’s a high chance of acquittal regardless of any defence. You’ll probably need a lawyer for this though - contact the Outlaw Legal Aid to see if I can cover your legal costs.
Possession / use:
A prosecution / caution for cannabis possession / use will not be successful if it has not been agreed that the substance is a controlled substance and the prosecution cannot prove that it is. Most defendants accept at the first opportunity that they were ‘unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance’ - those that don’t believe they are unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance already have a much higher chance of dismissal.
If you’re caught cultivating what is proven to be cannabis (including hemp) and you don't have a licence or cannabis prescription, avoiding all of the charges and fines isn’t yet possible (although work can be done with a lawyer in order to minimise your sentence). This doesn’t mean cannabis is illegal. It is perfectly legal to grow cannabis in the UK with a licence from the Home Office - a licence that’s very hard to get - which is a shame because growing your own cannabis is arguably the safest way to consume and contributes the least to the so-called ‘black market’ and ‘gang’ issues.
We don’t know of any defences that work for cannabis cultivation because of this licensing issue. In the UK you can be prosecuted if you: sell alcohol, drive a taxi, watch a TV or grow a cannabis plant without a licence. You can however make and consume your own home brewed alcohol for personal use, legally and without a licence for some strange reason.
Similarly, you can be prosecuted if it is proven that you were operating a vehicle over the legal limit for a list of substances including alcohol and cannabis. You would be charged under the Road Traffic Act, not the Misuse of Drugs Act. This charge is in relation to cannabis but again doesn’t make cannabis illegal - alcohol is legal but you can still be prosecuted if it is proven you were operating a vehicle over the legal limit. Successfully defending these driving related cannabis charges is not impossible but you will probably need a lawyer and it’s becoming increasingly hard to avoid all charges, especially if you don’t have a medical cannabis prescription. The Road Traffic Act and its legal limits needs revising urgently in order for it to be true and fair justice.
What am I doing:
The only way for us to progress is to help each other when the government refuses to. I don’t want to see one more lost job, ruined life or another family torn apart due to the government continuing the pantomime that is the mis-used, Misuse of Drugs Act.
I’m currently paying the legal fees for as many people as possible to avoid cannabis charges with our current defences due to the amount time it takes to strategically ‘take the government to court’.
In 2022 we’re going to be appealing lots of decisions in order to set a legal precedent and we won’t stop until there’s a precedent for all cannabis related charges. Once I know what I’d say to successfully defend the driving offences and cultivation I’ll let you know.
I mention to the police what I’m going to rely on in court - I repeat myself - I don't explain myself. I believe cannabis is legal, but I don’t even say that, I say essentially the same thing - “I’m not unlawfully in possession of a controlled substance”.
I definitely do NOT say to the police: “It’s not cannabis” or “it’s CBD” or “it's for personal use” or “I didn’t know it was cannabis” or “I didn’t know it was illegal” or “the law is wrong” or even “it isn’t mine”.
If I’m unsure at any point - I accept nothing, dispute everything and request the evidence for all claims made.