'DEALER CLAIM IS BIZARRE'
Pro-cannabis campaigner Carl Wagner is being subjected to a police
investigation into his finances - a power normally reserved for serious drug
Mr Wagner, who has never been convicted of a drug dealing offence and only
keeps small quantities of the drug for personal use, says the police are
conducting a "witch-hunt" against him.
Police have asked Hull Crown Court to hold a confiscation hearing in
November, under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
At the hearing, they will be able to apply to seize money they believe to
have been earned from drug deals.
They now have five months to gather any evidence of dealing, and will be
able to scrutinise Mr Wagner's finances.
The application comes after Mr Wagner appeared at the court on two counts of
possession of cannabis, and one charge of cultivating the plant.
He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay UKP 100 costs.
The campaigner, who runs a stall selling cannabis-related goods in Hull's
Indoor Market, says he is being victimised by police, who last year raided
Nine officers in riot gear burst into his house. They found a tiny amount of
cannabis, which was the subject of Wednesday's court appearance.
Mr Wagner said: "I contribute to the economy, my children are doing well at
school and have never heard raised voices or seen violence in the home. Yet
the police won't leave me alone. How is this in the public interest?
"I have not been found guilty of supplying, so why is this confiscation
hearing being held?
"I do not supply, I had a minor amount of cannabis resin for personal use.
This is absolutely bizarre."
"Drug dealers don't live in rented houses, drive F-reg cars and owe UKP
4,000 in bills.
"If you sit on my sofa you fall through it, and we have only just bought a
new TV after having the last one 13 years. Does that sound like a rich drug
A spokesman for Humberside Police said: "Recovery of assets in relation to
drugs offences is a course of action available to the police or the Crown
"The merits of such action in this case is being considered and will be
judged upon by the crown court."