Scotland authorities take giant step to decriminalize marijuana

Capelli D'Angelo

Flag of Scotland. Ratio 3:5. The blue used is ...
Flag of Scotland. Ratio 3:5. The blue used is “royal” blue (Pantone 300), following the Scottish Parliament’s recommendation of 2003. See also the traditional colour: Image:Flag of Scotland (traditional).svg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Authorities in Scotland are changing their ways. According to Leafly News, police may now issue a warning for minor cannabis-related charges, rather than a ticket followed by prosecution.

Many Scotland stoners hope all police officers will follow this procedure until the drug is fully decriminalized next year. However, the government is not open with this information, so they cannot be certain.

Lord Advocate sets the guidelines for procedure that an authority figure should follow upon arresting a citizen of Scotland. He has yet to make an announcement regarding the country’s marijuana laws.

The divisional commander for Police Scotland’s criminal justice division, Brian McNullty, said officers can still issue a ticket to people caught with possession of the drug at their discretion.

“Ultimately, officers may still submit a formal standard prosecution report to the Crown Office and procurator fiscal service, depending on the circumstances and nature of each incident or crime,” said Chief Superintendent McNullty.

The Crown Office hopes this will create a more effective system by allowing the courts to focus more on serious crimes that are committed. BBC News says the new system will be fully introduced in January 2016.

Any police warnings issued to those in possession of marijuana will be recorded and sent to the Crown Office. Instead of appearing in court and fighting a charge, the offender will receive an official warning. This warning stays on that citizens record for two years, and then it disappears.

To read more about the quickly changing marijuana laws in Scotland, check out the full Leafly article. For more about the procedure that officers will start taking next year, see the full BBC story.