illegally alive?

First, they came for the Stoners, and I did not speak out,
Because I am not a Stoner

Then they came for the cannabis growers, and I did not speak out,
Because I do not grow cannabis

Then they came for the sick children, and I did not speak out,
Because my child is not sick

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me *

In the above video, Mother Tannine Montgomery talks about her young daughter Indie-Rose who suffers from the severe form of epilepsy Dravet syndrome, a debilitating and life-threatening condition. 
Dravet syndrome  is characterized by high epilepsy-related premature mortality and a marked young age at death, accounting for nearly half of all deaths.”
Due to the failure of the conventional treatments available in the UK to successfully treat Indie’s Dravet Syndrome, Tannine conducted her own research into alternative treatments for complex health issues. Her research indicated that cannabis whole-plant extracts containing THC could be an effective treatment.
Unable to access whole plant extracts in the UK and supported by her Doctor, earlier this year Indie’s mum was forced to take her ill daughter to the Netherlands where a Doctor prescribed her Bedrolite®, a 1% THC and 9% CBD preparation. So far the family has paid in excess of £8,000 for Indie’s treatment, all raised by friends, family, and supporters.
In her video (above) Tannine reports that since administering Bedrolite® containing THC Indie’s seizures have reduced dramatically, and there has been a significant and marked improvement in her condition.

The Government recently announced:

“For the first time in the UK, expert doctors have been given the option to legally issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines”



Incorrect: In my article Cannabis oil treating epilepsy 173 years ago, I report on how Dr. William O’Shaugnessey used a preparation of cannabis to treat a severe case of epilepsy in a young child.

The case of Infantile Convulsions, 1843

“A female infant, forty days old, the child of Mr. and Mrs. J. L., of Calcutta, on the 10th of September had a slight attack of convulsions, which recurred chiefly at night for about a fortnight, and for which the usual purgatives-warm baths and a few doses of calomel and chalk-were given without effect. On that day the attacks were almost unceasing, and amounted to regular tetanic paroxysms. The child had, moreover, completely lost appetite and was emaciating rapidly”

Indie’s parents have been notified that her ‘special license’ for Bedrolite® is to be replaced by a prescription for Epidiolex (if GW Pharma will issue it to her on ‘compassionate’ grounds); Epidiolex is an orally administered 10% CBD preparation produced by UK company GW Pharma. 

Side effects of Epidiolex can include:

  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • transaminase elevations
  • fatigue
  • feeling unwell
  • weakness/lethargy
  • rash
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • infections

RT recently reported:

“The cannabis for Epidiolex is being provided from a 45-acre cannabis farm in the UK operated by British Sugar, whose links to Tory ministers were exposed in February when it was reported that Managing Director of British Sugar Paul Kenward was the husband of then-drugs minister Victoria Atkins MP, leading to accusations of “deception” by medical cannabis advocates.

The cannabis farm run by British Sugar is in Norfolk, less 30 minutes drive from Tannines’s home in Suffolk.

The hypocrisy and deception go much further; RT also reported that the PM’s husband Philip May is employed by the Capital Group, a major shareholder in GW Pharma who manufacture Epidiolex.

The prime minister’s husband, Philip May, works as a relationship manager for Capital Group. This is an investment firm known for owning stock in weapons giants BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin.

GW Pharmaceuticals cannabis is “readily available for patients and for sale around the world, whilst keeping everyone else’s cannabis strictly controlled.”

Is the shambles of Brexit a distraction to enable these financial shenanigans?

Here in the UK children are dying, and people who cannot access cannabinoids from the NHS are being sent to prison for cultivating a few cannabis plants in their homes while Tory Ministers and MP’s make millions.

Some UK cannabis campaign groups have admitted receiving funding for their support for the Canadian pharmaceutical company Tilray:

Jonathan Liebling – Political Director of United Patients Alliance reports from a meeting with GW Pharma that;

“I had a great time getting to know them rather better (GW Pharma). Whilst they may not be our friends; they are not our enemy either and moreover, they are the UKs ONLY Pharmaceutical Company with an interest in cannabis in the rapidly growing global pharmaceutical industry. It may well be in the UKs interests, especially post #brexit to have them succeed”

We look forward to our next coffee!



Clark French, 100% shareholder of UPA Limited is celebrating the news that his funders Tilray’s share price has increased over 500% in the past 2 months by moving into a new apartment and next week he is off to the USA.


Perhaps French and Liebling will donate their bonuses to the fund started by Tannine for her Daughter’s whole plant preparation? Or maybe Liebling will ask GW Pharma to show some ‘compassion’ at their next coffee meeting.



Jeff Ditchfield









  • First they came …” is a poem written by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller(1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis‘ rise to power and subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecutionguilt and responsibility.




Death penalty for cannabis oil

In the UK members of Bud Buddies face up to 14 years in prison for assisting terminally ill people with cannabis oil, in Malaysia Mr. Muhammad Lukman, is in custody facing death by hanging for possessing and distributing cannabis oil.


Mr. Farhan Maaruf is the Lawyer organising the appeal against Mr. Lukman’s conviction and sentence of death.  Mr. Maaruf has explained to me (Jeff Ditchfield) that for the appeal to stand the best chance of success they will need a top Barrister (the equivalent of a QC here in the UK) to represent Mr Lukman and that is likely to cost in the region of US$35,000+

The family has raised around £4,000 so I am starting this appeal to raise e30,000 towards Mr Lukman’s appeal, any funds over and above will be donated towards other cases and appeals in Malaysia.

Malaysian Court Sentences Man to Death for Distributing Free Cannabis Oil

September 4, 2018

Malaysia remains a potentially dangerous place to engage in anything related to medical marijuana. And that includes distributing it free of charge to patients who could benefit from it. Just last week, a man was sentenced to death for giving medical grade cannabis oils to patients in need.

On August 30, a judge in Malaysia sentenced Muhammad Lukman Bin Mohamad to death. The sentence came after the judge found Lukman guilty of breaking the country’s notoriously strict anti-cannabis laws.

According to local news sources in Malaysia, Lukman was arrested when authorities discovered just over three liters of cannabis oil. Additionally, he was found in possession of 279 grams of compressed cannabis.

All of this occurred in December 2015. Now, nearly three years after being arrested, Lukman received his sentence. Specifically, he was found guilty of breaking Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952.

This law states: “No person shall, on his own behalf or on behalf of any other person . . . traffic in a dangerous drug.” Further, the law stipulates: “Any person . . . guilty of an offence against this Act shall be punished on conviction with death.”

Given that cannabis remains an illegal substance in Malaysia, the judge ruled that this law applied to Lukman’s case. Lukman is now being held in Kajang Prison. At this time, sources indicate that he plans to appeal the decision in the country’s Court of Appeal.

Throughout Lukman’s case, his defense argued that his acts did not constitute drug trafficking. In particular, they focused on the fact that he was not distributing recreational drugs. Instead, defense lawyers argued, Lukman was distributing medicine to patients who might not otherwise be able to get it.

Further, the defense pointed out that Lukman was not making a profit. Lukman was in fact working in cooperation with an organization that educates the public on issues related to medical marijuana.

Lukman was not profiting from his distribution, either, since patients who could not afford the product were given it for free. In addition to all this, Lukman and his defense team pointed to the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the medical use of cannabis.

Despite all this, the prosecutors maintained that Lukman still broke the country’s laws prohibiting all forms of marijuana. They also claimed that although marijuana is increasingly accepted throughout the world, there is nothing in Malyasian law that allows for the medical use of cannabis.

Malaysia has long had some of the world’s most heavy handed anti-cannabis laws. Most obviously, this reputation comes from the fact that a person can still be sentenced to death for breaking certain drug laws.

But Malaysia isn’t the only country where a person can be sentenced to death for possessing, distributing, or consuming cannabis. In fact, there are still a surprisingly large number of countries throughout the world with these types of laws in the books.

Along with Malaysia, this list includes countries like China, Egypt, Singapore, Myanmar, Philippines, Nigeria, and several others.  source


You can donate to the fund here:





THC-a is legal in the UK

What is the Home Office playing at?                                                              13th March 2018

There is a long history of cannabis extracts being used in the UK to treat childhood Epilepsy, Dr W.B. O’Shaughnessy was administering cannabinoid extracts for severe forms of Epilepsy such as Dravet Syndrome as far back as 1840.

In 1971, the Misuse of Drugs Act was enacted and at the stroke of a pen Doctors in the UK lost the power to prescribe tinctures of cannabis as the Government had ruled cannabis to “have no medicinal value”.

This child is suffering a seizure, watch this amazing video and see how quickly THC-a can bring a child out of a severe seizure episode.

In the UK, there are approximately 60,000 children under 18 with epilepsy.

Symptoms include seizures, the intensity of which varies depending on the severity of the condition.

Dravet syndrome affects one in every 40,000 children in the UK.


In some US states and European countries parents and Doctors are successfully treating children suffering from severe forms of epilepsy with cannabinoid extracts and understandably, parents in the UK want access to similar preparations.

Professor Helen Cross a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) reported in May 2017;

“120 children with Dravet syndrome across Europe and the USA were given two daily doses of CBD (cannabidiol) orally for 14 weeks. At the end of the study the average number of severe seizures reduced by nearly 40%. For 5% of patients, seizures stopped completely”

“The results of this study are significant and provide us with firm evidence of the effectiveness of CBD. This drug could make a considerable difference to children who are living with Dravet syndrome and currently endure debilitating seizures.”

As Professor Cross’s clinical trial indicates; for 5% of the children involved in the study, severe seizures “stopped completely” and as CBD is not a controlled drug here in the UK parents are free to administer preparations of CBD to their child without legal interference.

However, for 95% of children, CBD alone was not sufficient to eliminate the most severe life-threatening seizures and in these cases the administration of another cannabinoid, THC-a could have been effective.

“We never imagined how well it would work (THC-a),  He’s just a six-year-old boy, he deserves a happy life. We’ve found something that makes him happy and now we’ve got to take that away.”  source

c Maggie Deacon press Association

Photograph: Maggie Deacon – P.A.

Alfie Dingley, from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, can suffer up to 30 seizures a day. His mother said they had decreased dramatically in number and severity while he was in the Netherlands being treated with a prescribed, (THC-a) cannabis-based medication.”



The law in the UK

Within the two main acts of Parliament covering “controlled drugs”, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA 1971) and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDR 2001), controlled drugs are placed within one of five schedules. Cannabis is in schedule one alongside MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD, which are deemed to “have no medicinal value”.

The Home Office has stated to Hannah Deacon and the media, that THC-a;

“cannot be practically prescribed, administered or supplied to the public”.

The acts of cultivation, supply, possession, and production of cannabis are restricted as per the regulations in the MDA 1971 and the MDR 2001, yet despite these controls, it will surprise many in the UK that the importation, possession and administration of THC-a (as a compound) is not regulated or restricted by any current UK drugs legislation.

The Drug Licencing Unit of the Home Office responded to my direct question;

“Is the cannabinoid THC-a a controlled drug in the UK?”

xxHome Office

Image copyright – Jeff Ditchfield 

This raises more questions

Q – As THC-a is not a “controlled drug”, why is Hannah Deacon or indeed any other parent having to seek permission from the Home Office for a special license or permission to import, possess or administer THC-a to their child?

Hannah Deakin is currently fighting a battle with the Home Office for her son Alfie to receive THC-a in the UK.

Darren Gibson says that he is being forced by the Home Office into taking drastic action to take his daughter Sophia to visit The Netherlands to receive THC.

“We are not meant to be any further than 30 minutes from the nearest hospital as Sophia takes status seizures which is a seizure which lasts more than 30 minutes and could be fatal or result in her being in intensive care”

“We know we are taking a risk travelling with Sophia in her current state but we have no alternative as we need Sophia to be on this medication”

Q – why was I arrested “for possession of THC-a with intent to supply” to the parent of a seriously ill child?

arrest us

On the morning of the 23rd February, I announced live on Sky News I would be attending Parliament to answer the pleas of  Paul Flynn MP;

“I would call on people, and I know we’re not supposed to do this as members, to break the law.

“To come here (to Parliament) and use cannabis here and see what happens and challenge the Government, the authorities, to arrest them and take them in.

“That’s the only way we can get through the common mind of the Government, which is set in concrete and the whole laws are evidence free and prejudice rich – let’s see them do that.”

After travelling to Parliament later that day  I was arrested for possession of THC-a on 23rd February outside Parliament and I was released “pending further investigation”, it seems that the Metropolitan police do not understand UK law, but that is another (ongoing) story.


There are in excess of 5,000 stable individual strains of cannabis plant producing in excess of 80 cannabinoids, the most well known is THC, responsible for the psychoactive effects.

Tetrahydrocannabinol-acid is the form of THC produced by the cannabis plant and it is non-psychoactive.

Patreon link


Please support me to produce a series of informative, educational cannabis videos and articles by making a pledge at Patreon


Arrested at Parliament

I am no stranger to reading inaccuracies or even downright lies on social media but recent statements have tested even my legendary patience.

Alfie Dingley is a young boy with a rare life-threatening form of epilepsy known as PCDH19, sometimes having 30 seizures a day, in his short six-year life Alfie has suffered up to 3,000 seizures and 48 hospital visits in a single year.

His mum, Hannah said: “Our neurologist said that if we don’t get him off these prescribed drugs, it can have serious mental health implications for my son”

After successfully treating Alfie’s condition in Holland with a cannabis oil extract containing THC which is illegal in the UK, Alfie’s parents returned home to Coventry and applied to the Home Office for a license to enable him to continue with his effective treatment.

“I don’t want a child who is psychotic or dead. It just frightens me to death. If we keep on giving him steroids the way he is, he will be very mentally unwell or he will die and I can’t let that happen.”   The Telegraph

The Home Office refused to grant a special licence repeating their consistent message that:

“Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 drug, as in its raw form it is not recognised in the UK as having any medicinal benefit and is therefore subject to strict control restrictions.

“This means it cannot be practically prescribed, administered, or supplied to the public in the UK, and can only be used for research under a Home Office licence.

“The Home Office would not issue a license to enable the personal consumption of a Schedule 1 drug.”

Timeline of events

18th February –  The Home Office release a statement rejecting pleas for a special licence.

“The Home Office would not issue a licence to enable the personal consumption of a Schedule 1 drug.”  Sky News

19th February – Hannah, Alfie’s mum calls on the public to help change the law;

“I would urge people and politicians to support us and raise this with Amber Rudd to save this little boy’s life. If it strikes a chord with anyone, it would mean so much to us for you to help.”   Express & Star

20th February – Home Office Minister Nick Hurd makes a statement in Parliament,

Nick Hurd reiterates that Alfie will not be granted a “special licence” and stresses that supplying cannabis “is unlawful”  statement

20th February – Paul Flynn MP calls on people to attend Parliament and “break the law”

“To medicinal cannabis users, he said: “I would urge them to break the law, because the law, in this case, is an ass.”    BBC News  

21st February – I send an e-mail to Minister Nick Hurd MP and over 100 of his colleagues;

“This Friday, myself and a group of Mothers will be at Parliament to support MP Paul Flynn’s private member’s bill. I will be there in possession of cannabis oil with the intent to supply to the Mother of a dying child, which as you are well aware is a criminal act. By rescheduling and permitting doctors to prescribe cannabis the Government will not only be assisting seriously ill people but also aiding me to not be a criminal, please help us”

23rd February – Live on Sky News I state;

“I’m going to tell a police officer that I am in possession of a class B drug, cannabis THC-a solution with intent to supply to the parents of a seriously ill child”  Sky News

23rd February –  I attend the rally outside Parliament, where Paul Flynn MP announces;

“What’s happened here today has been a filibuster organised by one party, and I am ashamed to say I am a member of that party,” he said.

The bill will instead be debated on Friday, July 6.

Earlier this week Mr Flynn urged people using the Class B drug for medical reasons to break the law, saying current legislation “is cruel and lacks compassion”.

23rd February – After Mr Flynn’s announcement I am approached by two police officers  during a media interview and subsequently arrested.

26th February – Home Office meet privately with Alfie’s parents.

27th February – “Skunk” scare stories and discredited reports from 2015/16 suddenly reappear in the press;

“Researchers at King’s College London tested almost 1,000 police seizures in 2016 and found 94 per cent were of a dangerously high potency.”

“In 2015 Kings College showed that in South London, 24 per cent of new cases of psychosis could be attributed to skunk use”  The Telegraph

28th February – The Government make a complete U-turn, the BBC report;

It previously turned down requests by the family of Alfie Dingley, from Warwickshire, to legally take the drug.

But now ministers say they are “exploring every option”, following a meeting with the family.

An option could be a three-month trial, led by Alfie’s doctors and based on “sufficient and rigorous evidence”. Alfie’s mother, Hannah Deacon, described the move as a “lifeline”.  BBC News

My arrest 23rd February – Parliament, London

After Paul Flynn’s announcement, I was approached by a news crew for Russia Today and asked to give my response. At the request of RT and along with Callie Blackwell and a few others we moved away from the loud music to a quieter area to conduct the interview.

“Deeds not Words”



Callie started to explain the campaign of dressing as Suffragettes and pointing out that 120 years ago Suffragettes could access cannabis for their terminally ill children but could not vote and today their great, great grandchildren can vote but have to fight for access to cannabis medications,





I initially thought that the two officers were part of a stunt by RT, one of the officers was very overweight and his stab vest was a little on the small size.

Two people dressed as police officers approached us. I informed the larger officer about the predicament of Alfie Dingley and that I was in possession of a cannabis THC-a oil of the composition his parents sought in the UK. I was subsequently removed to a nearby police van where a large crowd of people gathered in support. Locked in the back of that van was a real eyeopener, it was when I found out who the real UK Activists are,


Callie Blackwell was arrested on “suspicion of brandishing a cannabis plant”  




Picture courtesy of  Darren Rigby

The Home Office has had a consistent message for Hannah Deacon’s repeated requests for cannabis oil containing THC for her son Alfie, “cannabis has no medicinal value”. So what changed between 20th February when Home Officer Minister Nick Hurd reiterated that Alfie “will not” be granted a “special licence” and the following Monday when Mr Hurd told the family;

“An option could be a three-month trial, led by Alfie’s doctors and based on “sufficient and rigorous evidence”



  • Did the Government have a sudden change of heart due to their compassion?
  • Was it due to the failed second reading of Paul Flynn’s private members bill?
  • Or was it the result of some direct action?

Whatever the answer, the important factor is that little Alfie is now going to get access to the THC-a cannabis oil he requires.

Now – What about all the other desperate parents in the UK?



UPA statement – corrections and clarifications 

“That stunts like these may deter supporters who are thinking of attending the next rally. We do not wish anyone to think that attending a UPA event or rally could lead to their arrest.”

When did Paul Flynn MP’s call for people to attend Parliament become “a UPA event”? and no “stunt” it was an act of defiance answering Paul Flynn MP’s call to;

break the law, because the law, in this case, is an ass.”  

Mr Flynn did not urge people to come to Parliament and get signatures on a petition.
“The UPA cannot support people who actively intend to get arrested or to cause trouble of any kind for our supporters or the authorities at our events.”
You do not support people, no one caused “trouble” for UPA supporters and again, it was not your event.
“Weeds not Words” see you on 6th July.



Further reading

An open letter to Nick Hurd MP    

Open letter to Paul Flynn MP

UPA: Lions led by Donkeys?



An open letter to Nick Hurd MP    

21st February 2018

Dear Mr. Hurd,

Yesterday in Parliament, Mr. Crispin Blunt MP asked the Government to make a statement regarding the case of Hannah Deacon, who is fighting for access to cannabinoids to treat her son Alfie’s rare form of epilepsy.

You responded that you and the Government “sympathised deeply” and that you “understand and respect the desire of the family to try to alleviate his suffering in any way possible”

It is obvious Mr. Hurd that you do not understand at all, Alfie suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that is life-threatening; it is not a case of a parent trying to “alleviate suffering”, it is a case of a desperate parent trying to save the life of their seriously ill child.

You also pointed out that supplying cannabis “is unlawful”, my friends and I at are fully aware of that, we have been forced into breaking this unjust, cruel law for the past 18 years.

I can assure you that the decision of a parent to administer cannabinoids to their seriously ill child is not one lightly taken, indeed I know that the serving police officer who asked me to supply her with cannabinoids for her terminally ill child gave it a lot of thought.

As you are well aware, the decision to reschedule cannabis is not within the remit of the Secretary of Health, it is solely at the discretion of the Home Office; up until 1971 doctors could prescribe cannabis preparations, please persuade the Home Secretary to permit them to do so again.

It is ironic that 100 years ago Suffragettes who could access cannabis for their terminally ill children fought the Government for the right to vote and today their great, great grandchildren can vote but have to fight for access to cannabis medications.

This Friday, myself and a group of Mothers will be at Parliament to support MP Paul Flynn’s private member’s bill. I will be there in possession of cannabis oil with the intent to supply to the Mother of a dying child, which as you are well aware is a criminal act. By rescheduling and permitting doctors to prescribe cannabis the Government will not only be assisting seriously ill people but also aiding me to not be a criminal, please help us.

Jeff Ditchfield


Open letter to Paul Flynn MP

Dear Paul,

It was an honour to support your  Ten Minute Rule Motion presented to the House on the 10th October 2017:

“That leave be given to bring in a Bill to allow the production, supply, possession and use of cannabis and cannabis resin for medicinal purposes and for connected purposes”.

No sensible person can disagree with your principal aim of access for people (of all ages) to medicinal cannabis and cannabinoid preparations.

During our chat in Parliament square, I briefly mentioned my concerns regarding your call to:

“move cannabis from schedule one to schedule two” 

The Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 place Controlled Drugs into five schedules corresponding to their deemed therapeutic usefulness and misuse potential. “Raw” cannabis is currently in schedule one, deeming it to have “no recognised medicinal use”. Due to this classification Doctors and Pharmacists cannot lawfully prescribe or possess cannabis and patients have to risk up to 14 years in prison for cultivating cannabis or for producing cannabis oils and extracts for their own use.

If your bill is successful and cannabis is rescheduled to schedule two, it would be classified alongside controlled drugs such as  diamorphine (pure heroin) and therefore subject to the strictest of regulations, e.g. being stored in a locked secure safe and the keeping of a statutory register.

I applaud your call to make sensible drugs policies and I agree with you that policies should be based on science and not political or media dogma, however, I am afraid that it makes no sense (to me) to replace the current failed policy of the total prohibition of cannabis with a new unworkable policy of Prohibition Lite. 

You rightly stated in your motion that cannabis has been used medicinally for at least 5,000 years and during all this time no one has died from consuming cannabis, therefore:

How can the scheduling of cannabis and cannabinoid preparations be justified in schedule two alongside heroin?

NOTE~ Sativex, the cannabinoid preparation produced by GW Pharma containing half a gram of cannabis oil extracts (270mgs of CBD & 250mgs of THC) is in schedule four making it exempt from the safe custody requirements and the other restrictions placed on schedule two controlled drugs.

Parents are being criminalised

I beg you, Mr Flynn, to read the book Callie Blackwell presented to you, The Boy in 7 billion is the amazing story of a determined Mother whose only ‘crime’ was to do everything in her power to save the life of her dying child.

There is no statute of limitations here in the UK, the members of Bud Buddies who assisted Callie, myself included are still subject to the constant threat of arrest and prosecution. Yet, who is the victim of our crimes? Why do we face 14 years in prison for a crime where there is no identifiable victim?

Bud Buddies are currently assisting the parents of 100+ seriously ill children in the UK and not only do these parents fear losing their child to a terminal illness they also live with the constant fear of the involvement of social services. Being made a ward of court could be a death sentence for many of the children being administered cannabinoids by their parents.

One of these parents is a serving police officer, will you please meet with her to hear firsthand her fears, her hopes and how you and your fellow MP’s can help her and her family?


Views of the author: I personally believe that cannabis and cannabinoid preparations should be placed in schedule five alongside over the counter medications such as paracetamol and therefore no restrictions regarding their importation, possession or administration. I further believe that adults should have access to cannabis via membership of a Private Members Club and/or home cultivation.  

Further reading

This slideshow requires JavaScript.






Police Sniffer Dogs in the UK

What do you say if a police officer stops you based on the actions of their dog?

Under Article 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971,

“the police have the power to search someone if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect that they are in possession of illegal drugs.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines point out that, in their view, an indication by a passive drugs dog does indeed constitute “reasonable suspicion”

That’s their ‘authority’ and in a recent guide, the excellent organisation RELEASE points out that:

Release sniffer dogs

PD Max

Police generally deploy drugs dogs at public events or public locations like train stations or ports, so what happens when a police dog comes and says hello?

I have been stopped on a number of occasions, it generally starts with a lovely, happy Cocker Spaniel sitting next to me and then the conversation goes something like this:



Officer: excuse me Sir, my dog has indicated that you may be in the possession of controlled drugs, can you explain this?

Me: Maybe your dog has been poorly trained or her (drugs dogs are always female) handler is a moron, I really have no idea

Officer: I have reasonable grounds to suspect that you are in possession of controlled drugs and under the Misuse of Drugs Act, blah, blah

[There then follows a search and after finding nothing]

Officer: Can you tell me why my dog identified you as being in possession?

[most people at this stage say something like “I had a joint last night” but be aware, that if you do this the officer will record it and it will validate their stop & search, so don’t do it!]

Me: as I said earlier officer, your dog is poorly trained. I have no idea

On one occasion I had an officer threaten me with arrest for “obstruction” I pointed out that I wasn’t “obstructing” him, I was merely being uncooperative , which currently isn’t an offence under UK law,

In summary, obstructing a police officer is a criminal offence, so don’t do it, being non-cooperative or even being a “dick” isn’t a criminal offence, it is a fine line but one that every Cannabis Campaigner needs to tread imo.

BTW~ everytime I have been searched in the above situations I have been in possession and the police did not find anything, and NO nothing was inserted into my body, have some dignity for God’s sake.

HELPLINE: 0845 4500 215