People Busted for Weed in the U.K. Could Lose Passports Under Proposed Rules

People Busted for Weed in the U.K. Could Lose Passports Under Proposed Rules
High Times

Think twice about smoking a doobie while traveling in the U.K. People in England and Wales could be subject to stricter punishments, including risking losing their passports or driver’s licenses under new rules recently proposed. But some people are worried it’s a thinly-veiled attack on the middle class. The White Paper document—titled “Swift, Certain, Tough New consequences for drug possession”—was published by the Home Office in July. People charged with drug-related crimes could risk losing their passports and driver’s licenses as the U.K. government ramps up efforts to “tackle the scourge of substance abuse in society.” The Home Office is the government department responsible for immigration, security, and law & order. Offenders in England and Wales would be subject to a “three strikes”-style system. The system breaks up offenses into three tiers. The Telegraph reports that it’s going to impact the nation’s middle class the most—leading to bans from nightclubs over random drug convictions. And that’s just the beginning: losing a driver’s license and a passport could come next. The three-strikes system in general is a sentencing structure designed to deter crime faster, but is decried by advocacy groups. First, anyone caught with illegal drugs would be forced to pay for and attend a drug awareness course, and if they fail to comply, they would receive an increased fixed penalty notice or face prosecution. Second-time offenders would be cautioned, ordered to attend an additional drug awareness course, and face mandatory, random drug testing for a period of up to three months. People charged with drugs for a third time would be likely to be charged, and upon conviction as part of a civil court order, could be subject to an exclusion order banning them from nightclubs and entertainment venues, and they could have their passports or drivers’ licenses confiscated. The…

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