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Closed petition Make it a specific criminal offence to supply drugs to children under 16

I want to see a change in the law to make clear that any person under the age of 16 cannot consent to taking illegal substances. This will have a two pronged effect in keeping young people safe but also holding those who supply accountable for death and serious injury as a result.

More details

On 11/5/19 I lost my beautiful daughter. Leah went out with her friends that night She experimented with MDMA, which killed her. I got a call to say she isn’t well, shortly after I got there Leah took her last breath. The 2 boys found guilty of supplying MDMA that night got 21 months and 12 months, the max sentence under current law. only serving 6 months each. It’s illegal to by alcohol/cigarettes and to consent to sex under 16, there must be more safety measures against drugs been offered to children.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

10,275 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 21 April 2022

Protecting children from harm is a priority for government. However as existing offences already apply for drug supply, we have no plans to make it a specific offence to supply a child with drugs.

Read the response in full

The death of Ms Roberts’ daughter, Leah, is a tragedy. We can assure you that this Government takes drug misuse very seriously. Drugs can devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities.  This Government’s approach to them remains clear - we must prevent drug misuse in our communities and support people through treatment and recovery.

It is an offence under section 4 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to supply a controlled drug to any person. This does not differentiate between different classes of person based on age or any other characteristic. The offence is made out simply where a person supplies a controlled drug to another person or offers to supply a controlled drug to another person. It would therefore be an offence under s.4 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to supply a controlled drug to a person under the age of 16. This is subject to certain lawful exemptions: for example, where a controlled drug is a medicine that has been lawfully prescribed, or where it is supplied under the terms of a Home Office licence.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the penalty for supply of Class A drugs is up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Supply of Class B and Class C drugs has a penalty of up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Given supply to a child under 16 is covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act the Government does not have any plans to create an additional, specific offence.

Home Office