More MS news articles for Sep 2001

Six arrests at first UK cannabis cafe

Monday, September 17, 2001

BRITAIN: A campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis who was arrested after attempting to open Britain's first Dutch-style cafe was released yesterday without charge.

Mr Colin Davies (44) was questioned on suspicion of possessing cannabis with intent to supply following his arrest on Saturday at The Dutch Experience cafe, in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Mr Davies, who lives in Stockport and has smoked the drug to relieve pain since he broke his spine four years ago, was involved in scuffles with uniformed officers before being led away by undercover detectives.

He was questioned at Stockport police station until 3.30 a.m. yesterday, when he was released on police bail without charge.

Another man and three Dutch men and a Dutch woman were also arrested on suspicion of being concerned with the supply of a Class B drug. They have all been released on police bail.

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: "Some substances have been seized and will undergo forensic examination."

Mr Davies said after his release he was "disgusted" with the police's handling of the situation. He said the cafe was open again, but would not be selling cannabis or allowing the drug to be smoked on its premises.

"It was heavy-handed policing. It was disgusting. There were 20 officers there at one stage - it must have cost the taxpayer a lot of money."

Dozens of people from across the country turned up yesterday for the opening of the cafe. Its aim was to sell cannabis at a cheaper rate to ill people who say it helps relieve symptoms.

At least 10 people in wheelchairs, some with multiple sclerosis and including a former police officer, were at the shop to support Mr Davies.

"Our aim was to provide ill people with this medicine," said Mr Davies. "Have the police nothing better to do than disrupt ill people's lives?" he asked. - (PA)

© 2001