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REPORT OF THE
INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO THE MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1971
Note of Reservation by Denis O'Connor
I would like to record my enduring reservations on the workability of the recommendations and proposals that relate to cannabis.
There are consequences of reclassifying cannabis with respect to removing the power of arrest for possession that will create real problems for operational officers. These include: the workability of any confiscation procedure; decision making as to whether it is a case of supply as opposed to possession; and the need to accommodate criminal justice processes and documentation associated with any caution or any other criminal justice outcome.
We have discussed (see Chapter 5, paragraphs 27-32) the impact that this might have on street activity involving drugs, not only drug markets but also the associated anti-social behaviour that concerns the public so much. There is a potential adverse effect here which ideally needs to be properly scoped.
These issues are not entirely insurmountable but do need to be addressed if we are to have a coherent approach to this problem.