Divisional Courts

DOI10.1177/002201837604000303
Publication Date01 Jul 1976
SubjectArticle
Divisional Courts
Comments
on
Cases
OFFER
TO SUPPLY AN
UNCONTROLLED
DRUG
Haggard v. Mason
S.4(1)
of
the
Misuse
of
Drugs
Act
1971
makes
it
unlawful
to
supply
or
offer
to
supply
a
controlled
drug
to
another.
S.4(
3)
of
the
same
Act
makes
it an
offence
so
to
do.
The
question
for
the
Court
in
this
case (1976 1W.L.R. 187) was
whether
the
offence
was
committed
when
the
Defendant
offered
to
supply
to
another
a
drug
which
was
not
a
controlled
drug, even
though,
at
the
time
of
the
offer
he believed it was.
On
the
17th
or
24th
May
1974,
the
Defendant
went
to
Leeds
University
and
bought
for
£250
one
thousand
"tabs"
of
a
substance
which
he
thought
was L.S.D. (lysergide) in
the
form
of
impregnated
blotted
paper.
L.S.D. is a Class A
controlled
drug
within
the
meaning
of
the
Misuse
of
Drugs
Act
1971.
The
Defendant
subsequently
sold
some
of
the
substance
to
one
Anthony
Gerald
Heward.
At
the
time
of
the
sale,
both
of
them
believed it was L.S.D.
It
was in fact 2.5
Dimethoxy
4
Bromoamphetamine
(Bromo
S.T.P.)
which
is an
hallucinogenic
drug
but
not
controlled
under
the
Misuse
of
Drugs
Act.
It
was
argued
for
the
defence
that
for
the
offence
to
have
been
committed
the
substance
offered
for sale
had
to
be
a
controlled
drug
at
the
time
the
offer
was
made
and
the
time
of
sale.
Since
in
this
case
the
substance
offered
for sale was
not
a
controlled
drug,
therefore
no
offence
had
been
committed.
In
support
of
this
argument
the
defence
relied
on
R. v.
Smith
(Roger) (1975 A.C.
476),
where
it was
decided
that
for an
offence
of
attempted
handling
of
stolen
goods
to
be
established
the
goods
must
be
in
existence
and
stolen
at
the
time
of
the
attempt.
The
prosecution
argued
that
the
offence
contemplated
by
the
section
was an
"offer
to
supply",
and
that
the
offence
was
complete
once
the
offer
had
been
made.
It
was
immaterial
that
the
drug
to
be
supplied
was
not
yet
in
existence
or
that
it
was
not
a
controlled
drug.
The
prosecution
relied
on
the
case
of
R. v. McDonaugh (1962
47
C.A.R.
37)
in
which
it was
decided
that
an
incitement
to
receive
stolen
goods
was
complete
on
the
making
of
the
incitement
even
though
there
were
no
goods,
or
no
stolen
goods
in
existence.
136

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