Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Jeffrey Ditchfield (DP154)

I have extensive knowledge regarding the cultivation of cannabis, its preparation and its medicinal use, I have given presentations on the subjects to The Royal College of General Practitioners and at John Moores University.

I have also written many articles on the subject and I am the author of “Cannabis Cultivator” a step by step guide to growing cannabis.

1. My submission is quite straightforward, as a 52 year old man who cultivates and consumes his own cannabis can you please identify the victims of my “crime”?

2. This submission is in regard to the first part of your remit and in particular human rights and the ECHR article 8:

“The extent to which the Government’s 2010 drug strategy is a ‘fiscally responsible policy with strategies grounded in science, health, security and human rights’ in line with the recent recommendation by the Global Commission on Drug Policy”

3. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides as follows:

(1)Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

(2)There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Part (2) states quite clearly that there can only be interference with this right for the stated reasons given and therefore any state interference has to be justified on these grounds.

4. Necessary in a democratic society—In order for a measure to be “necessary in a democratic society”, it must respond to a pressing social need (The Sunday Times v United Kingdom (1979) 2 EHRR 245).

If action has been taken in pursuit of one of the legitimate interests listed in part (2) of Article 8 then that action must be tested for “necessity.” The European Court has held that the notion of necessity implies two things:

(a)that an interference corresponds to a pressing social need; and

(b)that it is proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.

5. State interference with Article 8 has to be (according to the European Court) due to a “pressing social need”.

I would like to know the nature of this “need” I am a 52 year old man who cultivates and consumes his own cannabis, so where is the “pressing social need” to stop me?

If you can justify the actions of the state and identify the “victim(s)” of my crime I will happily cease my cannabis activities.

6. I would also like you to consider the proportionality of 12 police officers forcing their way into my home, stealing my possessions, being charged, attending court and gaining a criminal conviction for having five cannabis plants?


I am a 52 year old man and I cultivate and consume my own cannabis, who is the victim of my “crime”?

January 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012