From: WebBooks

Source: Dorset Echo, UK

Pub Date: Tuesday, 2 April 2002

Subj: Amsterdam-style cannabis venture planned

Author: Miranda Holman





A DORCHESTER woman who plans to open a cannabis cafe in the town claims it would help tackle heroin abuse.

Sam Day, 36, is waiting until the law changes to classify cannabis as a class C drug, so that it can be licensed by magistrates in a similar way to alcohol.

And she is concerned that cafes offering cannabis should be responsibly run, with drugs counsellors on hand to help and regulations to ensure people's safety.

Sam, who has written several books on cooking with the drug, has slammed a plan to open an Amsterdam-style cafe near two drug rehabilitation centres in Bournemouth as "irresponsible".

She said: "I have been waiting to open a proper cannabis cafe for the past six years - these things don't just happen overnight.

"I have been on management courses and food safety courses to prepare me for running a business and I believe that a cafe run sensibly will provide a number of benefits for the town.


"Take the growing problem with heroin in the area - the well-run cafes in Amsterdam have dramatically cut heroin abuse in Holland, because they provide somewhere to go as an alternative to the pub."

Sam said: "Every aspect of opening a place like that has got to be looked at - it's madness to put a cannabis cafe near a school or rehab centre.

"The good thing about making cannabis a class C drug is that it can be regulated - we can stop all the rubbish coming from Europe and create a British industry to grow it, farm it and use the hemp for making material and beer."

Town and district councillor Tim Harries said he was pleased that Sam was taking the project seriously.

He added: "I am glad that she's going the right way about it and it will be interesting to see what happens.

"I am following the news on how cannabis will be used for medical purposes for people with multiple sclerosis with great interest."

But Coun Leslie Phillips said: I wouldn't want to see any encouragement of drugs in Dorchester.

"I believe that cannabis use can lead to harder drugs and I do not want to see a cannabis cafe here."