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Main Criminal Offences involving illegal Drugs (UK)


What offence means - what is involved?


Unlawful possession - i.e.having knowledge of drug (i.e. belief or reason to suspect a controlled drug) and control (i.e. on person, premises, vehicle or if stashed/thrown away when approached etc). Actual ownership is not necessary.


Actual transfer of drug from one person to another, whether or not any payment is involved. Can include anything from passing a joint, to selling to an undercover cop, or being caught dealing on video etc.

Possession with intent to supply

"Intent" is very broadly defined, and includes drugs mainly for personal use where one might contemplate sharing or giving away if asked, to possession with commercial supply in mind) - also includes looking after drugs for someone else (as one would intend to supply them back to the owner).

Concerned in supply

e.g. acting as lookout/security, generally minor roles in a supply chain


Includes cultivation of cannabis plants (also a separate alternative offence), even stripping cannabis leaves/tops from plants, as well as manufacture, cutting or tableting of powdered drugs.


Carrying drugs over international borders, or being concerned/involved in such a venture.

Allowing premises to be used

Owner, tenant or other occupier permitting premises to be used for smoking cannabis, drug production/dealing, or use of opium.

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