Pubdate: Tue, 06 May 2008
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Newsquest Media Group
Author: William Dartnall


After hearing about the recent attempts by police to  close down the
cannabis cafe in Lancing, one of which  involved the use of a tractor
(The Argus, November 11),  I was shocked to see taxpayers' money
wasted on such a  huge scale.

The stretched resources of the police could have been  better used to
combat more serious crime. If people  want to consume something which
may do them harm but  which does not cause any lasting damage to the
rest of  society - as alcohol does - then these smokers should  be
left alone.

In my opinion, cannabis should be completely legalised  or at least
decriminalised in the Brighton area and  there should be special zones
where coffee shops could  be set up where both tourists and locals
could be  allowed to smoke the drug in the open air without fear  of
arrest or prosecution by the authorities.

I should mention that cannabis production itself is  nothing new to
the Brighton area. In the 14th century,  according to The History And
Architecture Of Brighton  by Anthony Dale most of the land now
occupied by Black  Lion Street and Ship Street was known as the
Hempshires  after the plots which it contained for the production  of
hemp to make ropes for fishermen.

Undoubtedly these plots were also used to grow cannabis  which could
be smoked too.

Even in the Middle Ages people were well aware of the  effects of
cannabis ingestion.

It appears that Brighton has a long history of cannabis  production.
Changing the local bylaws to allow people  to smoke cannabis in
certain specified areas could  raise much-needed revenue, lead to many
more tourists  visiting the city and relieve the blight of 
drink-fuelled violence which currently plagues most  city centres.

William Dartnall

Western Road, Brighton
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin