Frequently, UK celebrities and politicians publish memoirs where they admit to breaking laws related to illegal substance use, yet they never seem to be prosecuted after openly admitting it. A recent example is David Cameron, the previous prime minister, which is especially interesting since during his tenor he resisted a reform of drug laws, which means many people who did nothing worse end up being prosecuted themselves.

As far as I know, UK law does not have a statute of limitations, so the fact that these crimes occurred long ago is not by itself a reason to let it go. The publication of these memoirs should provide sufficient evidence that the crime took place, or at least form the basis of an investigation.

Yes, I am aware of (Why are drug using celebrities free?) but the answers there are US specific and I'm interested in a UK perspective.

  • Drug use isn't a crime in the jurisdiction.
    – Lag
    Jul 13 at 6:24
  • I spend half an hour writing an answer, just for it be closed. Facepalm :)
    – user35069
    Jul 13 at 6:25
  • 1
    @Rick - perhaps your answer could still be added to the original question that closed this one?
    – firtydank
    Jul 13 at 6:31
  • 2
    Possession, supply and production were and are offences. I don't think 'use' is an offence. I could be wrong!
    – Lag
    Jul 13 at 7:13
  • 1
    Possession of drugs for personal use can be a crime, but is only prosecuted if it's in the public interest. You can read the English guidelines here, and if you've smoked cannabis in private and have a clean record, there's a good chance you'll not be prosecuted even if it was recent and there is overwhelming evidence.
    – Stuart F
    Jul 13 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


In 1963, I shot JFK

Why am I not prosecuted?

See how easy it is to admit to crimes no one can prove you did?

  • 1
    This is an interesting answer, but I am not particularly convinced by it. We are not talking about random people on the internet (no offence I hope!), but well known people who admit to crimes using a solicited channel (i.e. a book "written" and published by them)
    – firtydank
    Jul 13 at 5:47
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    @firtydank - Confession, of its own, wouldn't be sufficient for the Director of Public Prosecutions to bring a case in the UK. And no one is going to risk bringing a case if the main evidence is "David Cameron said so". Jul 13 at 8:15
  • 2
    Yes, this a useless answer.
    – bdb484
    Jul 13 at 9:01

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