From the year 2000, Coffeeshops began to open here in the UK, but for some strange reason it never really makes national news, I wonder why this is? To help you all understand whats really been happening in the UK, out of the "public and media" eye, here is a selection of real bonifide press articles released in local papers about cannabis coffeeshops in the UK, enjoy the read!
I found all these articles at a great website called: www.thehempire.com so a big thanks to these people who have kept a record of the news around the UK!
And I think many people who went to these cafes would also like to thank those who risked it and opened a cannabis coffeeshop in the UK, THANKS GUYS!
Bournemouth's cannabis cafe raided: Ananova, 25th April 2002
Bournemouth's cannabis cafe has been raided as the BBC screened a programme about the venture.
Seven people have been arrested for drug-related offences.
A police spokesman says quantities of substances, believed to be cannabis, were seized.
The raid took place as The Money Programme highlighted the issue of cannabis cafes and focused on the Bournemouth venture.
About 25 people were on the premises at the time.
The programme followed owner, James Ward, to Amsterdam - where he underwent a cannabis café management course. The BBC's programme also highlighted his search for premises in Bournemouth.
The police spokesman says officers executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act. A team of 60 officers took part in the raid.
Detective Chief Inspector Colin Stanger, head of Dorset Police's specialist squads, said: "The operation was a success. Dorset Police targets dealers and users in the more harmful Class A drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, but clearly we will not tolerate the dealing and use of cannabis because it is an offence and our duty is to enforce the law."
Six of the seven people arrested are from Bournemouth. A 34-year-old man has been charged. Two males, aged 17 and 18, and a 21-year-old woman have been released on police bail.
A 28-year-old man has been reported for an offence and released, and a 30-year-old man is still helping police with inquiries. A 47-year-old man from Christchurch has been released on police bail.
'Spicy jerk chicken and a bag of weed': South London Press, 12th November 2003
A CAFE owner was caught with hundreds of pounds worth of cannabis stashed under his floorboards, a court heard.
Customers at Errol Anderson's Green Leaf Cafe in Landor Road, Brixton, could pick up peppery patties and spicy jerk chicken along with a bag of cannabis, it is claimed.
The 47-year-old is said to have pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds selling the drug to special customers out of a back room dance hall on the premises.
And when the cafe was raided by police, more than two kilos of cannabis were found in deal bags.
PC Matthew Hardcastle turned up dressed in full riot gear along with other officers on April 10 last year.
He told Inner London Crown Court: "In the second room under the floor boards I found an envelope containing a quantity of cannabis."
The find was passed to a forensic scientist and weighed 48.6g.
Anderson was arrested after more than two kilos of cannabis were also allegedly found in small bags in the cafe's back room.
He was released on bail, but is said to have returned to drug dealing almost immediately.
The court heard that between April 2002 and January this year, when Anderson was arrested, about £230,000 was credited to a bank account he shared with his wife, Audriana Witter, 49.
Anderson and Witter, of Ribblesdale Road, Streatham, both deny one charge of conspiring to contravene the drug trafficking act.
Estate agent Gassell Gordon, 55, of Canonbury Road, Forest Hill, who allegedly helped the pair hide the proceeds of their drug sales through property, also denies one charge of conspiring to contravene the drug trafficking act.
Witter denied a further eight charges of concealing or transferring the proceeds of drug trafficking.
Anderson further denies 10 charges of concealing or transferring the proceeds of drug trafficking, three charges of possessing a class B drug with intent and one charge of permitting premises to be used for the supply of a class B drug.
The trial continues.
Warning Over Cannabis Cafes, The Purple Haze Cafe: The Scotsman, 5th February 2004
The prime minister has been urged not to let drug dealers use the downgrading of cannabis as an opportunity to set up cannabis cafes.
The plea from Glasgow Cathcart MP Tom Harris followed arrests last week over alleged drugs offences at Scotland's first cannabis cafe in Edinburgh.
Mr Harris told Tony Blair in the Commons that cities like Glasgow needed "more jobs, not more drugs".
Cannabis has now been reclassified from a class B to a class C drug.
That puts it in the same category as tranquillisers and steroids.
The changes mean penalties for possession will be lessened but dealers could face up to 14 years in jail.
Mr Harris told the Commons: "A number of drug dealers are using the recent reclassification of cannabis as an opportunity to open up cannabis cafes in various parts of the country - I understand that one is also planned for Glasgow."
He asked Mr Blair: "Will you agree with me that what Glasgow needs is more jobs, not more drugs and will you commit the government to using all of its resources to make sure that these cannabis cafes do not proliferate?"
Mr Blair replied: "Yes, which is why we've taken action against such cafes and I think it's important that we continue to do so."
He added: "The possession of cannabis remains a criminal offence.
"The purpose of what we have done recently, however, is to make sure that the police can, where they need to do so, target their main resources and activity on dealing with hard drugs.
"But all of these things are important to deal with."
On Thursday, three people were charged with allegedly possessing cannabis at the Purple Haze Cafe in Edinburgh.
The cafe, a former greasy spoon, was opened as a private members' club.
Cafe owner Paul Stewart said that cannabis would not be on sale.
However, Mr Stewart said members would be able to use cannabis on the premises.
He said the cafe would be "tobacco free" but anyone wishing to take cannabis would be able to use a vaporiser machine, which eliminates 99% of the carcinogenic substances of the drug.
Mr Stewart said he wanted to highlight the discrepancy between the way that the reclassification of the drug was being implemented on different sides of the border.
Bring your own to first cannabis cafe: Gillian Harris, Scotland Correspondent, The Times, 30th January 2004
STEVEN ENGLAND, who claimed to have a secret stash of dope in his pocket, was at the head of the queue when Scotland's first cannabis café opened yesterday.
Mr England, 24, was one of about 50 customers who filed into Purple Haze, a former greasy spoon in Edinburgh, which has been transformed with a coat of lilac paint into a private club for cannabis users.
Outside two uniformed police officers stood at the door handing every customer a letter stating that downgrading cannabis to a Class C drug did not make it legal.
They were told that if they were seen using cannabis inside the café they would be arrested and charged. "I am concerned that the reclassification has been misunderstood by some members of the public," said Inspector Neil Phillip of Lothian and Borders police.
Mr England, who is unemployed, said it was a risk he was prepared to take. "I feel I should be allowed to take cannabis. I think this cafe is an excellent move forward and I hope to see many more open across the country."
But staff at Purple Haze, a basement internet café will not sell cannabis alongside the bacon rolls and cheeseburgers.
Customers, who pay £5 to become members, will be invited to bring and consume their own using the cafésupplied vaporiser, which costs £350. Smoking is banned, so there will be no joints.
"I would prefer to smoke a joint but vaporisers give you a faster hit," said Mr England.
Another customer, dismayed to learn that the cafe was not selling cannabis, grumbled: "I didn't realise it was BYOB -Bring Your Own Blow."
Yesterday was registration day at the cafe with cannabis use expected to begin today.
Paul Stewart, 37, the cafe owner, said he was prepared to defy the law in order to draw attention to the plight of cannabis users who he believes are treated harshly.
"I am not selling it but I will allow people to bring their own," he said. "If the police arrest me or other customers that will not do anything to stop people using cananbis."
To prevent passers-by enjoying the spectacle of a handful of ageing hippies and unemployed youths getting stoned, grids have been placed across the café windows.
"It is part of our non-confrontational approach. We are not putting on a show and we are not going to get involved in big fights with the police over it," said Mr Stewart.
During the day Purple Haze will continue as a conventional internet cafe serving tea, coffee and food including baked potatoes, burgers and French pastries. But at 4pm the cafe will be turned over to members who want to use cannabis. Mr Stewart stressed no other drugs will be tolerated.
Café boss fined on cannabis charges: The Kidderminster Shuttle, 28th January 2005
POLICE who raided a Kidderminster cafe found customers smoking cannabis while the proprietor served behind the counter.
They included a multiple sclerosis victim in a wheelchair who took the drug to help cope with her illness.
David Lyness, the boss of Crystals Cafe in The Horsefair, described his premises to police as "a cannabis theme park" and "a smoker's environment", said Brett Stevenson, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court.
Lyness, 43, who lived in a flat above the cafe, admitted permitting his premises to be used for cannabis smoking and possession of the drug on the day he was due to face trial by jury.
He was fined £1,100 with £300 costs after Recorder Murray Creed accepted that the defendant had been "reckless" in turning a blind eye.
A search warrant was executed at the cafe on February 19 last year. Three customers had cannabis on them. Two were cautioned by police.
The third customer was prosecuted and fined because he was present in August, 2003 when police mounted their first raid on the cafe and also found him smoking cannabis, said Mr Stevenson.
He added Lyness also sold substances in packets known as "legal high" which were spoofs of a real drug.
Police found a bag of cannabis on a coffee table in his flat and a herbal grinder which had cannabis traces on it.
In 1989 Lyness was jailed for two years for possession of drugs and had drug convictions in 1994 and 1997.
Defence counsel Alastair Edie said: "This was tantamount to turning a blind eye. He didn't know who was smoking what. He insists he runs the cafe well, is hard-working and does not allow alcohol."
Mr Edie said Kidderminster was notorious for hard drugs and Lyness was offering a refuge to people who might be tempted into taking them.
Ten years ago, Lyness broke two leg bones, which left him with a permanent limp and pain which travelled up his body.
He took drugs to alleviate the pain and had an aversion to prescribed drugs after they failed to help his cancer-stricken mother.
Lyness was "not a rich man", making only £450 a month. He rented the flat and had council tax arrears, which he was paying off.
"He's had a chequered past but in recent days has kept pretty much on the straight and narrow. He believes cannabis has therapeutic qualities and should be legalised," added Mr Edie.
Cops raid 'hash cafe': Ben Ashford, South London Press, 13th April 2005
DOPEY dealers set up an alleged cannabis cafe - just yards from a police station.
The Amsterdam-style smokers' den was said to be based in a popular South London restaurant which pulls in hundreds of customers a week.
Smokers could place their order at the counter before heading to a comfy basement lounge to savour their stash, it is claimed.
Drug officers say they found portions of the drug packaged and ready for sale alongside tasty snacks and pastries.
The alleged racket, based in Agadir restaurant and kebab shop in Streatham High Road, went up in smoke when cops working 100 yards away became suspicious.
Officers with sniffer dogs and full riot gear stormed the premises last Tuesday and seized hundreds of pounds of suspected cannabis.
A number of customers were allegedly caught with the class-C narcotic inside.
Chief Inspector Alastair Sutherland, of Streatham police, told the South London Press: "From the intelligence received, we suspected the venue was regularly being used for the supply of controlled drugs.
"We had a duty to put a stop to this.
"A substantial quantity of what appears to be cannabis resin was found on the premises."
Since the bust, leaflets have been distributed among nearby homes and businesses by police, keen to reassure residents that cops have not gone soft on cannabis.
The chief inspector added: "The Amsterdam-style cafe culture is not tolerated in British law and will not be tolerated in Streatham."
Four arrests were made during the bust. One man was arrested on suspicion of dealing cannabis while another was arrested for allegedly allowing the drug to be smoked on his premises.
Another man was arrested for possession of the drug and theft, and a further arrest was made over a stolen driving licence. No charges had been brought as went to press.
Fight for cannabis cafe: Mike Hornby, The Liverpool Echo, 19th April 2005
MERSEYSIDE'S first cannabis cafe is open for business.
The Amsterdam-style Tea Cafe in Liverpool is tucked away behind a bona fide cafe and, despite being raided by police last month, is still trading.
Owner Gary Youds was arrested but has now reopened the business in Holt Road, Kensington, and is pledging to fight any moves to close him down.
Mr Youds asked the council for permission to set up the cafe but was refused. He appealed and was refused again but opened up anyway.
The 35-year-old appeared in court and, after pleading guilty to allowing his premises to be used for the taking of a controlled drug, was given a conditional discharge.
Several customers were cautioned for possession of cannabis after the police raid.
Mr Youds has spent £60,000 on his business venture through his company, The Chillin's Rooms Ltd.
Police insist he is supplying cannabis but Mr Youds said his premises were only used for taking the drug and he operated a "zero tolerance" policy on Class A drugs and alcohol.
But he has now been served with a 28-day closure notice by Liverpool council.
The father-of-one from West Derby, said: "I am happy to work with the police and council, allowing them inside for inspections at any time.
"We are doing nothing wrong, all we want is tolerance."
Police are working with the city council to have the cafe closed down, but they cannot obtain an Asbo against Mr Youds because there have been no complaints from residents.
Inspector Kevin Wellens said: "We are committed to enforcing the law and are liaising with the local authority.
"It's not that residents have reported problems associated with the running of the premises, more that they are concerned that something like this is there."
: This is a nice joint!: Mike Hornby, The Liverpool Echo, 29th April 2005
LIVERPOOL'S cannabis cafe has won over local residents who were furious when the ECHO revealed its existence.
Members of the Needham Road Residents Association toured Holt Road's Tea Cafe at the invitation of owner Gary Youds. Plans for a petition also came to nothing after Mr Youds offered his premises as a venue for community meetings.
Enid Bristow, of the residents association, said: "We were utterly amazed. It's very nice inside and he has obviously spent a lot of money.
"Of course, it is still illegal what he is doing. He should just open a wine bar or something.
"We were offered the premises for our meetings, alongside the regular customers - I don't think that would be appropriate. Most people now seem quite happy."
But Kensington councillor Frank Doran said opposition remained strong.
He said: "I don't know what has happened to the petition but I know there are many people in Kensington who are worried.
"This is not the kind of business we need and I have confidence that Mr Youds' operation will be closed."
The cafe remains open for business after Mr Youds' company, the Chillin' Rooms, appealed against the council's closure decision to deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
It could be months before a judgement is made.
Police close down 'cannabis cafe': BBCi, 8th December 2005
A cafe in West Sussex where it is believed cannabis was sold has been repossessed by police on behalf of bailiffs and the owners.
Officers entered the site on Victoria Road, Worthing, with the help of a locksmith early on Wednesday.
No-one was inside at the time, but a 40-year-old man who arrived at the premises later was arrested for being in breach of his bail conditions.
A number of people were arrested at the site during police raids in August
Police On A High As 'cannabis Cafe' Closes: This is Cornwall, 21st April 2006
Police in Penzance describe it as an "Amsterdam" style cafe, serving illegal drugs to children as young as 13.
But last week the Oasis Cafe on Alverton Street was closed and its owner given a 12-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to do 200 hours of community service.
Alan Jacobs, aged 54, his daughter Fran Jacobs, aged 27, and her partner, James Berriman, also aged 27, were sentenced at Truro Crown Court last Wednesday after admitting drugs offences at the cafe.
The business which had operated for three years - just yards from Penzance police station - had acquired a reputation as a venue where class C drugs were openly available.
Police said this week they were delighted that the cafe was now closed and convictions secured after a catalogue of frustrated attempts.
Following the verdict, Sgt Pete Simms said: "It is very satisfying for us to know that we have taken this problem out of the community because it was of huge concern to us."
The cafe was first raided in 2002 when Mr Jacobs was arrested, with four others, and cautioned for possession of cannabis.
Sgt Simms said: "He was unrepentant and considered he had done nothing wrong.
"It appeared to us that he was trying to run it like an Amsterdam coffee shop, where cannabis could be openly smoked."
The cafe was visited twice more in 2002 and 2003, although CCTV and a security door had been installed and officers were refused entry.
Sgt Simms said: "It was very frustrating because we had parents telling us their children were buying drugs there, but without firm, first hand evidence is was impossible to get a warrant."
It wasn't until June 28 last year that the police were successful in obtaining permission to raid the cafe where they found several people either smoking or in possession of cannabis.
As well as bongs, hash grinders and other drugs paraphernalia, 88.8 grams of cannabis was seized.
In total seven people were arrested, among them Alan Jacobs, his daughter Fran Jacobs and her partner James Berriman.
Prosecutor Llewellyn Sellick said there were four youngsters present, one of whom said she had started buying cannabis in the cafe when she was 13.
Last week Ms Jacobs was given a conditional discharge and Mr Berriman received a suspended prison sentence and was ordered to do 150 hours of community work.
Defending Alan Jacobs, Pentreath Wilson said he had never intended the cafe to become cannabis smoking premises but had initially allowed young musicians to play and record there and helped sell their productions. It was not set up as a commercial enterprise, and he was shocked when he learned the ages of some of those involved. "He was trying to promote a place where young people could relax in safety."
Alan Jacobs was told by Judge Jeffrey Rucker he had escaped a custodial sentence because there was no evidence to suggest he had introduced youngsters to cannabis and his business was otherwise legitimate and had a positive side to it.
Sgt Simms said: "We feel we have had some great successes against drugs this year but there will be others out there ready to fill the void so we need help."
Coffee Shop Charter
We believe British coffee shops should follow the tried and tested Dutch model. This means:
- No drug advertising
- No hard drugs
- No under 18s
- No disturbance of public order
When we're allowed to sell:
- A maximum quantity of 5 grams sold to each customer
- A maximum of 500 grams of stock
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