Gardaí to issue cautions to adults caught with cannabis
Gardaí will now issue cautions to adults caught with small amounts of cannabis and cannabis resin in a significant expansion of the adult cautioning scheme introduced nearly 15 years ago.
The scheme provides “an alternative to the prosecution of certain persons against whom there is evidence of the commission of a scheduled criminal offence where the prosecution of such offence is not required in the public interest”.
Following discussions with An Garda Síochána, the Director of Public Prosecutions has approved the expansion of the scheme to include four additional offences:
- Offences contrary to section 13 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 (Trespass in a manner likely to cause fear).
- Offences under section 21 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 (Control of access to certain events).
- Offences under section 3 of the Casual Trading Act 1995 (Casual trading without a licence or contrary to the terms of the licence).
- Offences under Section 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977/84 (Simple possession). This will relate to the possession of cannabis and cannabis resin only. No other controlled drugs are permitted under the Adult Cautioning Scheme.
An adult caution for any of these four offences can only be considered in respect of an offence committed on or after 14 December 2020 and cannot be applied retrospectively.
Gardaí said they will “continue to work closely with the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to all elements of the adult cautioning scheme”.