Five spliffs and you're out...

Five spliffs – that’s all it will take this summer to land you behind bars with a criminal record.

According to a spokesperson for Essex Police, anyone caught at the V2002 Festival in Chelmsford (August 17-18) with enough marijuana for five joints – that’s the equivalent of 3.5 grams of cannabis resin – will be treated as a dealer and could face imprisonment.

The Essex police hardline is part of a crackdown on drugs being orchestrated by police forces this summer. Fourteen people were arrested when sniffer dogs were deployed by police at the Homelands festival at the Matterley Bowl in Hampshire earlier this month (June 1).

This comes despite the scheme currently being pioneered by the Metropolitan Police in Brixton, London, where police have moved away from arresting people with cannabis for personal use.

A spokesperson for Essex police told NME.COM: “Anyone at the festival carrying more than enough for five spliffs will be arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply. But if anybody has any cannabis on them, if they have any quantity, they will be arrested on suspicion of possession.”

Simple possession can lead to a caution, which does not mean a criminal record. For more, see this week’s NME, which is out in London now, and nationwide tomorrow.