Is it legal to smoke weed at home in the UK and what can you do if neighbours are using cannabis?

MANY of us will have caught a whiff of something that smells a little less than legal while we’re out and about.

But what can you do if your neighbours are the ones using cannabis and the smell is wafting into your property?

Is it legal for people to smoke cannabis if it’s in their own home?

Quite bluntly (no pun intended)… no.

Cannabis, marijuana or weed is classified as a Class B drug, putting it in the same category as ketamine and amphetamine.

Just because someone is using the drug within their own premises doesn’t make it legal.

And the pungent, slightly floral smell of someone smoking cannabis is often hard to disguise and most people won’t want the stench creeping over into their gardens or homes.

Despite specialist doctors being granted the ability to prescribe cannabis oil on November 1, clinicians say the prospect of legalising smokeable marijuana is unlikely.

A police spokeswoman told Plymouth Herald: "The possession of cannabis is an offence and will be dealt with by police.

"We would encourage anyone who suspects drug activity in their community to contact us."

If I call the police, will my neighbours find out it was me who dobbed them in?

No. Police will never give away a caller’s identity and your neighbour will not be informed that a complaint came from a neighbour.

A police spokeswoman said that officers might also use tip-offs to advise where they go on patrol.

Then, if the officers were to smell cannabis themselves, they might knock on the door and investigate that way.

The resulting punishment for the user depends on many different variables including how much cannabis the smoker is in possession of and whether they've been caught with it before.

If you are caught with the drug cops can issue an on-the-spot fine if you have less than one ounce.

If my neighbours rent their property, should I tell their landlord instead of the police?

While this is an option, the landlord will not be bound to keeping your tip-off anonymous like the police are.

The use of drugs more than likely breaches any tenancy agreement in place – but there are constraints as to what the landlord can do.

If landlords suspect the use of cannabis on their property, they can arrange a visit as long as they have given their tenant advance warning of doing so.

Then, if when they next visit the property the same evidence is there, they can serve a notice of eviction.

If you do want to get in contact with the landlord as the first port of call, try checking out the Land Registry for the owner of the property.

There is a small fee, but you can get the information from the Land Registry.

How is cannabis classified and what are the penalties?

Cannabis remains illegal to possess, grow, distribute or sell in the UK, according to the Home Office.

Being caught with cannabis comes with a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

While being convicted of producing and supplying the Class-B drug carries up to 14 years behind bars, an unlimited fine, or both.

Police can issue a warning or on-the-spot fine if you're caught with a small amount – generally less than one ounce – if it is deemed for personal use.

Where is weed smoking legal?

Weed has been legalised for personal use in a number of countries, including Norway, the Netherlands and Portugal, which decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001.

Recently it has also become legal for medical and recreational use across much of the United States, with California the most recent state to allow it for recreational use.

In 2018 Canada legalised cannabis for recreational use, only the second nation to do so.

Campaigners have highlighted the potential health benefits of cannabis, but only when used in moderation.



The drug has been suggested to reduce symptoms in patients who suffer from seizures and chronic pain.

In Australia, Puerto Rico, Poland, Czech Republic, Canada, Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia it is legal for medicinal purposes.

The Liberal Democrats became the first major British political party to support the legalisation of cannabis in March 2016.

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