More MS news articles for Sep 2001

'Cannabis cafe' to open

Friday, 14 September, 2001, 05:16 GMT 06:16 UK

A drugs campaigner who once presented the Queen with a bouquet of marijuana plants says he is preparing to open a cannabis cafe in the north-west of England.

Colin Davies has called for the legalisation of the drug for medicinal purposes.

He told BBC News Online he expected a number of people who use cannabis to relieve pain and other symptoms to visit the cafe when it opens on Saturday in Stockport.

Police in Greater Manchester have vowed to keep a close eye on the premises, called the Dutch Experience.

The 44-year-old claims he presented the Queen with a bouquet containing cannabis plants outside the Lowry Arts Centre in Trafford, when she performed the official opening last October.

Mr Davies started taking cannabis in 1996 after suffering from the side effects of conventional drugs which he took to relieve the pain caused by serious spinal injuries.

Mr Davies who lives in Stockport, founded the Medical Marijuana Co-operative to help fellow pain sufferers by providing them with cannabis.

In 1999 he was aquitted after a three-day trial of cultivating and possessing the drug with intent to supply.

Law enforcement

He said he was forced to use the drug out of medical necessity and supplied it to two sufferers of multiple sclerosis for the same reason.

Mr Davies is flagging up the cafe which he says will serve cannabis as "the UK's first Medipot Coffee Shop".

He said: "We are making arrangments for disabled facilities for patients who are coming to the opening of the cafe."

Assistant chief constable Vincent Sweeney said: "The law on the supply of controlled drugs is quite clear and the place of Greater Manchester Police is to enforce the law.

"We will monitor any developments in this area."