More MS news articles for Sep 2001

'He's a healer, not a dealer'

British campaigner seeking legalization of medicinal pot arrested

Published Sunday, September 16, 2001
Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England -- A campaigner for the legalization of marijuana was arrested Saturday after opening Britain's first Dutch-style cafe openly selling the drug.

Colin Davies, a multiple sclerosis sufferer who uses marijuana to ease his symptoms, was involved in a scuffle with police soon after opening the doors of the Dutch Experience in a Manchester suburb 180miles northwest of London.

As he was put into the back of a police van, one of his supporters shouted, "He's a healer, not a dealer."

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said Davies was arrested for possessing marijuana "with intent to supply" it to others.

Davies, founder of the Medical Marijuana Cooperative, which campaigns for the drug to be prescribed for illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, made headlines last year when he was photographed handing Queen Elizabeth II a bouquet containing pot plants during a royal visit to the city.

Kate Bradley, a former policewoman who has smoked marijuana since 1991 to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis, said the police raid was an "undignified and horrendous experience."

Bradley, who uses a wheelchair, said for many people marijuana is the only drug that helps with the pain.

In the Netherlands, marijuana is technically illegal, but authorities tolerate its use and it is openly sold in small amounts.