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Cannabis is a class B drug and it is illegal to use, possess, supply or produce the drug.

In England and Wales, a first offence for possession of cannabis could attract a warning or a penalty notice for disorder, any aggravating factors are likely to lead to an arrest and prosecution.

The maximum sentence in a magistrates' court is a penalty of three months imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding £2,500. In a Crown Court the maximum sentence is five years imprisonment and/or a fine. A conviction of production and/or supply of the drug can carry a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

However, it is worth noting that these are only proposed penalties. It does not necessarily mean that a first offence for possession will certainly be met with a warning. The Crown Prosecution Service could decide to prosecute a first time offender for possession of more than a minimal amount of the drug.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.