Pubdate: Thu, 03 Oct 2002
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Copyright: 2002 BBC
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United Kingdom)


The UK's first Amsterdam-style cannabis cafe has been raided on the same 
day its owner was jailed.

The news came just hours after cafe owner Colin Davies was sentenced to 
three years in prison after being convicted of drugs offences.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed on Thursday the Dutch Experience cafe 
in Stockport had been raided by officers.

Davies had claimed the cafe was set up for seriously ill people who used 
the class B drug for medicinal use.

His defence team applied for his immediate release because he has already 
served nine months in jail, but the judge refused.

Davies, 44, from Romney Towers, Brinnington, Stockport, was arrested when 
the cafe opened on 15 September 2001 after being caught smoking a joint.

He had claimed the cafe was based on similar ventures - the so-called 
"medi-weed" system - which operate in the Netherlands.

He said his clientele were people who smoked cannabis to ease painful 
illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

'Help Others'

But he was found guilty of three counts of possessing a class B drug with 
intent to supply, of supplying a class B drug and of being involved in the 
importation of cannabis.

His trial heard customs officers seized cannabis worth UKP18,000 at Dover 
and 430 ready-made joints destined for addresses linked to Davies.

The prosecution also alleged UKP3,000 cash found at his flat was the 
proceeds from the sale of the drug.

Davies was also convicted of permitting the premises to be used for the 
smoking of the drug.

In passing sentence, the judge said Davies had persistently flouted the law.

James McCrindell, for the defence, said: "This episode began out of a 
genuine belief on the part of Davies that it was appropriate to help others 
who were in difficult circumstances in relation to their medical condition."
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