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Stone free Cannabis smokers to get 'adult caution' for possession offences

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Man making joint and a stash of marijuana in the car

Man making joint and a stash of marijuana in the car

Man making joint and a stash of marijuana in the car

Midnight tokers in Ireland caught with cannabis for personal use can now avoid a criminal conviction if they admit the offence and accept an adult caution.

Under the Adult Cautioning Scheme minor offences such as being drunk and disorderly, theft, damage to or handling of stolen property worth less than €1,000 or failure to comply with the directions of a Garda in certain circumstances can be dealt with more informally.

The scheme was extended today to include four more offences; simple possession of cannabis for personal use, trespass likely to cause fear, casual trading such as selling hats or scarves at a match and breaching a barrier at an event.

People arrested for these offences can now be given the option of admitting the offence and accepting an Adult Caution.

However, those caught with larger consignments of cannabis can still be prosecuted, as can people caught repeatedly with cannabis for personal use.

It is the first time in the history of the State that an illicit drugs offence can been dealt with outside the conventional criminal justice system, using a prosecution-based process.

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