More MS news articles for Dec 2001

Euro-MP arrested in cannabis protest

Saturday December 15, 01:55 PM
By Jonathan Kent

LONDON (Reuters) - A British member of the European parliament has been arrested for possession of cannabis after he turned himself in to police with some of the illegal drug in support of a cannabis cafe in North West England.

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies, who represents northwest England, planned the event to show support for a constituent, Colin Davies (no relation), who was arrested in November at an Amsterdam-style cannabis cafe he ran in Stockport.

"I am glad to have added myself to the dozens of people who have already been arrested in protests aimed to demonstrate their support for Colin Davies," the MEP said in a statement on Saturday.

Police confirmed a man was being interviewed after arriving at Stockport police station in Manchester with a small amount of the illegal drug.

Chris Davies said he had never used illegal drugs, but expressed support for the Chief Constable of North Wales, Richard Brunstrom, who told a meeting on Friday that the only way to win the war against drugs might be to legalise them all.

"The legal priorities are wrong. Last year nearly 800 young people in Britain died of alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver. Not one person died from the health effects of cannabis, yet some 50,000 people were arrested for possession of the drug," Davies said.

"It is not surprising that many police officers admit that they have better things to do with their time than arrest people for a supposed offence which causes no harm to anyone else."

Brunstrom said a Royal commission should be set up to consider how to tackle the issue of drugs, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) reported.

Colin Davies' cafe sold cannabis for recreational purposes but gave the illegal drug free to those wanting it for medical purposes, his brother Mark said.

Colin Davis smoked cannabis himself to alleviate pain resulting from a car accident six years ago.

"The people who will miss out most are those in the Multiple Sclerosis Cannabis Association," Mark Davies said.

Many people say the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other diseases are alleviated by cannabis. British commentators have called in recent months for the drug to be legalised and the government has promised to at least relax laws against it.

Copyright © 2001 Yahoo! Inc.