The Cannabis Caution Line supports the Cannabis Cautioning Scheme (CCS).
The CCS provides formal cautioning of adult offenders detected for minor cannabis offences. This arose from the NSW Drug Summit recognising that arrest for recreational drug use has not always proven effective.
The caution notice provides contact telephone numbers for the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) and dedicated, confidential services to a cautioned offender that includes information about treatment, counselling and support services.
Persons who receive a second, final, caution are required to contact ADIS for a mandatory education session about their cannabis use.
The objective of such a scheme was to adopt a more effective approach to minor cannabis offences and "to use police intervention to assist offenders to consider the legal and health ramifications of their cannabis use and seek treatment and support" (NSW Government, NSW Drug Summit, 1999 Government Plan of Action, 1999b: p. 70).
The Cannabis Cautioning Scheme commenced on 3 April 2000 and is operated by NSW Police Force.
A person can only be cautioned twice and cannot be cautioned at all if they have prior convictions for drug offences or offences of violence or sexual assault. The Scheme does not apply to those caught supplying cannabis. Dealers continue to be arrested and prosecuted under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.