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Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001

Use of controlled drugs on premises

99.Under section 8 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, it is an offence for the occupier or a person concerned in the management of premises knowingly to permit controlled drugs to be produced or supplied on the premises. However, knowingly permitting the consumption of a controlled drug has only been an offence in respect of the smoking of cannabis or opium. This very much reflects the drug misuse patterns that prevailed at the time the Act was introduced.

100.Successive governments have undertaken to review section 8 of the 1971 Act to consider whether its scope should be extended to the use of all controlled drugs.

101.In the last two or three years, police enforcement success against open street dealing in drugs has led to greater use of “closed” drug markets such as crack houses. Such closed markets present particular challenges for the police, especially with regard to the gathering of evidence sufficient to sustain a prosecution.

102.The Government has considered measures which would best assist police enforcement and concluded that an amendment to extend section 8 to cover the unlawful use of all controlled drugs on premises is appropriate (for it is not just cocaine that is used on such premises).

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