VOW TO OPEN NEW CITY CENTRE CANNABIS CAFE

Discussion in 'Coffeeshops' started by Alfa, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    VOW TO OPEN NEW CITY CENTRE CANNABIS CAFE

    A LEADING supporter of Scotland's first cannabis cafe today vowed a similar
    outlet would be opened in the city centre.

    Cult publisher and author Kevin Williamson announced the move after
    Edinburgh Sheriff Court fined the owner of Leith's Purple Haze Cafe UKP 500
    for allowing the drug to be smoked on the premises.

    Paul Stewart, who operated the cafe, yesterday admitted permitting cannabis
    use on the premises. The 37-year-old was arrested on January 29 - the night
    he opened his Portland Place "private members' club" and the same day
    cannabis was downgraded to a Class C drug.

    But Mr Williamson, the Scottish Socialist Party's drugs spokesman and
    founder of the Scottish Cannabis Coffeeshops Movement, today said the UKP
    500 fine was a "token slap on the wrist".

    "I'm pleased Paul didn't receive a custodial sentence. A small fine of UKP
    500 shows what a waste of police time and court time this was. This entire
    case has been a joke from start to finish but it is not going to put anyone
    off opening a new cannabis cafe. Our ultimate aim is to get cannabis out of
    the black market and what we are doing is morally right. I can say for
    certain that supporters will get together and discuss ways to open another
    cafe and this time it will be right in the middle of Edinburgh city centre."

    The Purple Haze opened in a blaze of publicity earlier this year, and
    members who paid UKP 5 to join the club were promised they would be able to
    use the drug on the premises - despite police warnings that it would be
    illegal. MSP Tommy Sheridan signed up to become a member of the cafe, which
    drew more than 100 people to its opening. But the cafe was raided just
    three hours after it opened and Stewart was arrested.

    The Purple Haze was subsequently put on the market after just one month.
    Stewart blamed "harassment" by the authorities for his decision to sell. In
    April, Stewart pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed his plea
    before yesterday's court appearance.

    He said: "I'm quite upset about the severity of the fine, but I'm glad it
    wasn't a custodial sentence. I decided to plead guilty to the charges
    because I didn't want to waste any more taxpayers' money."

    Procurator fiscal John Barclay told the court there was "a co-ordinated
    police response" on the cafe's opening day: "The accused was seen at the
    counter of the premises and could not have failed to see the bong and pipe

    or also smell the distinctive aroma of cannabis."

    When fining Stewart, Sheriff Noel McPartlin told him: "You are entitled to
    your point of view whether it is a good law or a bad law, but you are not
    entitled to campaign against it by breaking the law itself."

    Defence agent Matthew Berlow said, his client was now "a broken man"
    because of the adverse publicity.

    Stewart claims to have invested UKP 45,000 in the business and is
    considering offers over UKP 15,000 for the lease - which has about eight
    years to run. Because he is living on a minimum income, he was allowed to
    pay the fine at the rate of UKP 10 a week.
     
  2. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    UKP 500 FINE FOR THE OWNER OF CAPITAL'S FIRST CANNABIS CAFE

    THE owner of Scotland's first cannabis cafe has been fined UKP 500 after
    admitting allowing the drug to be smoked on the premises.

    Paul Stewart, 37, of Cadiz Street, Edinburgh, yesterday admitted permitting
    cannabis resin to be smoked in The Purple Haze Cafe in Portland Place,
    Edinburgh, on 29 January this year - the day cannabis was reclassified from
    a Class B to Class C drug.

    John Barclay, the procurator-fiscal, told Sheriff Noel McPartlin at
    Edinburgh Sheriff Court that Stewart had declared his intention of
    operating his take-away cafe as a cannabis cafe between 4pm and 8pm.

    The accused said he wanted to raise public awareness of the
    reclassification of the drug and to encourage licensed cafes similar to
    those operating in the Netherlands.

    Stewart was seen by senior police officers on 19 December 2003, and warned
    that the reclassification of the drug did not rule out criminal offences
    being committed.

    Mr Barclay told the court that on opening day - 29 January - there was "a
    co-ordinated police response". All those entering the premises were given
    letters warning them of possible offences.

    At about 7pm the premises were crowded and officers saw one female with a
    light green bong and a male with a pipe.

    Defending, Matthew Berlow said that Stewart had been attempting to
    highlight the hypocrisy of the drug laws
     
  3. joetaco

    joetaco Newbie

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    "Our ultimate aim is to get cannabis out of
    the black market and what we are doing is morally right."

    Politicians over there can say things like that? [​IMG] Holy crap! Ugh, why do I live in North America? Does this Scottish Socialist Party have any seats?

    Edit: Never mind, wikipedia to the rescue! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Socialist_Party#SSP_MS Ps

    So they are indeed a party with some semblance of power. Perhaps there is hope for the human race after all.Edited by: joetaco