Perth Sheriff Court seems to be where it all happens these days (see e.g. Nos 616, 650, 677, 706, 715). On 8 February 2008 Gregor Spalding (31) was there fined £300 for having cannabis plants in his possession at home in Blairgowrie. In pleading guilty, Mr Spalding’s explanation was that he was not a drug dealer but was rather growing the stuff for personal use to relieve the pain of a genital itch (pruritus) which had lasted for three years, resisting more conventional medication (this last was confirmed by evidence from his doctor). The police discovered his seven young plants under a lamp when they entered his home looking for one of his neighbours, and detected a not unfamiliar odour in the air. Sheriff Derek Livingstone accepted Mr Spalding’s story since he thought the attempt to grow cannabis had been so amateurish; presumably the good sheriff knows how it might have been done more professionally. For more on pruritus and how to treat it lawfully, at least in the USA, see http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_pruritus.html. For previous civil authority on genital itches see Grant v Australian Knitting Mills  AC 85 (the sulphites in the woollen underpants case).
The Electoral Commission investigation of a £950 donation to Wendy Alexander’s successful campaign to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party during 2007 announced its conclusion on 7 February 2008. The donation was illegal because the donor, Mr Paul Green, was not a UK voter. While the Commission was satisfied that not all reasonable steps to avoid the illegality had been taken by the Alexander campaign team (the donation had been recorded as from a UK-based company), there was not enough evidence to justify reporting the matter to the police and the procurator fiscal. The donation had been voluntarily forfeited by Ms Alexander. This was not the end of issues about donations to the Alexander leadership campaign, however, because Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Dr Jim Dyer had earlier (1 February) reported her to the procurator fiscal for failure to declare around 10 donations of about £1,000 each on her MSP register of interests. Ms Alexander explained that she had previously been acting on the advice of other parliamentary officials and duly registered the donations. No word yet from the procurator fiscal on whether any further action will follow.