The British Broadcasting Corporation has come under heavy fire for the entrapment of a 19-year-old to incite him to supply cannabis and then report him to the police.
BBC investigative journalist Jonathan Gibson met with Warren Waring to snare him into supplying cannabis. This landed Mr Waring in Derby Crown Court, although he was not charged for supplying the BBC journalist.
Following up the grassing up by the BBC to the police, Mr Waring’s house was searched where they found 37.9 grams, which they valued at £390, although the street value for weed is generally £10 a gram in the UK, not £10.29.
He was subsequently given a 15-month jail term, suspended for two years by Judge Egbuna, who also ordered him to go on a drug rehabilitation course for six months.
Defence lawyer, Jessica Strange told the Court the offence was more than a year old and the delay in bringing it to Court was no fault of her client.
Warren Waring was snared by BBC hack, Jonathan Gibson, who incited him to break the law.
She said: “He is 21 now, 19 at the time of the offence which is some 15 months old now.”
This story was widely reported on social media and some cannabis consumers have said it has put them off talking to journalists from the BBC who are often contacting law reform groups to ask if people are willing to talk on camera about their cannabis consumption.
I asked cannabis expert, Jeff Ditchfield, who is well versed in the UK legal system, why Warren Waring was not charged for supplying the BBC journalist and what concerns he had about journalists entrapping teenagers to buy cannabis.
“Looking objectively at the possible offences and abuses of the law that have been committed by the BBC undercover journalist, entrapment is an Abuse of Process, which might explain why Mr Waring was not charged with supplying the BBC journalist as any decent solicitor barrister worth his salt would raise an Abuse of Process argument, which is I’m sure is why he wasn’t charged with the original offence,
“In addition, the journalist has possibly committed an offence under the Misuse of Drug Act as it is illegal to incite someone to break the law. So if this journalist went to some kid and said “Hey can you get me some cannabis?” this would be incitement to break the law.
“I find it interesting when this BBC journalist reported the offence to Derby Police about being supplied cannabis – the police must have interviewed him and taken a statement, so why haven’t the police arrested the BBC journalist for incitement to break the Misuse of Drugs Act?”, said Jeff.
Possession of cannabis
I asked Jeff if the BBC journalist could be charged with possession of cannabis. He said: “the journalist has a defence in section 5.4 of the misuse of drugs act, which states:
“If it is proved that the accused had a controlled drug in his possession, it shall be a defence for him to prove:
(a)that, knowing or suspecting it to be a controlled drug, he took possession of it for the purpose of preventing another from committing or continuing to commit an offence in connection with that drug and that as soon as possible after taking possession of it he took all such steps as were reasonably open to him to destroy the drug or to deliver it into the custody of a person lawfully entitled to take custody of it; or
(b)that, knowing or suspecting it to be a controlled drug, he took possession of it for the purpose of delivering it into the custody of a person lawfully entitled to take custody of it and that as soon as possible after taking possession of it he took all such steps as were reasonably open to him to deliver it into the custody of such a person.
Derbyshire police ask on their website for people to report crimes; I wonder if anybody has reported BBC hack, Jonathan Gibson, for inciting a 19-year-old man to break the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Kevin John Braid in Amsterdam.
Kevin John Braid is an artist, writer and activist who was born in Scotland, grew up in the U.S.A. (California and Arizona), lived in England for a few years, and now lives in Poland. He has spent many years fighting against marijuana prohibition, and is a lover of books, cooking and Nietzsche.
Feed the bird is a collective of like-minded individuals who encourage raising awareness of cannabis and hemp seeds by feeding them to birds. The hemp seed is the most useful seed in the world, as well as being the most useful plant. We encourage the legal spreading of hemp seeds for bird feeding purposes.