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Cannabis cafe opens on south coast

bbc | 01.04.2002 15:49

will the police stop it??

Cannabis cafe opens on south coast

Jimmy Ward: Determined to open cafe

A controversial cannabis cafe has opened in Boscombe near Bournemouth.
Its owner Jimmy Ward wants the law changed to allow him to sell organic marijuana over the counter in a Dutch-style cafe.

He hopes the new venture in Dorset, which is operating as a members-only venue, will help the cause of campaigners calling for the legalisation of cannabis.

Dorset Police have warned they will not tolerate any illegal behaviour at the premises, such as the sale of drugs.

Medical use

Mr Ward said he was pleased at the number of visitors present when he opened at 1000 BST on Monday.

Mr Ward said he was not worried by police concerns about the cafe.

He said: "Every time the police get involved all they do is make me more determined."

Some customers had come from Stockport, Greater Manchester, where a similar cafe opened six months ago, but there were also local people at the opening.

Campaigners want cannabis legalised

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Letch, of Dorset Police, said: " We are monitoring developments.

"When and if offences are apparent we will deal with them appropriately."

Home Secretary David Blunkett has indicated that although he wants to reclassify cannabis he does not intend to legalise or decriminalise it.

Cannabis possession and supply is set to remain a criminal offence, attracting maximum sentences of five years for supply and two years for possession.

But rather than arresting people caught with cannabis, police will be more likely to issue a warning, a caution or a court summons.