Published letter: A cannabis cafe would be a safe place


Source: East Anglian Daily Times, [UK]

Pub Date: 28 March 2002

Pub LTE: A cannabis cafe would be a safe place

Author: Alun Buffry

Cited: Legalise Cannabis Alliance -





Sir - Lesley Harper, whose son became ill in January after taking amphetamines, is wrong to use that as an argument against the plan by Mr Chris Philbin of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance to open a cannabis cafe in Essex. ("Cannabis cafe plans slammed by mother", EADT, 22 March)

For a start there was no such thing as a cannabis cafe in Essex last January.

The chances are that her son obtained the "speed" from a local pub, street dealer, or dealer's house, all of which may offer a whole variety of drugs which, like amphetamines, are far more toxic and dangerous than any amount of cannabis that can be consumed.

The presence of a cannabis cafe in any community would give users somewhere safe to go, and somewhere safe to buy. As in Holland, where such cafes have successfully operated for over 25 years and where there is a far less serious problem with hard drugs, the chances are that such places in the UK would have strict operating rules, such as no hard drugs, no youngsters, no drunkards.

Had Lesley's son chosen to use cannabis and bought it from a cannabis cafe, chances are he may never have been offered amphetamines.

It is quite clear that there is little that the law can do to prevent use of cannabis or any other drug which is so widely and easily available from illegal suppliers whose profits encourage diversification of drugs on offer.

That is a fault of the law and Government policy that has thrown a range of drugs with vastly differing risks, all into one basket.

It must be time that we adopted a policy of education and protection rather than punishment. The legalisation of cannabis would enable that to happen.

Whilst having every sympathy with people who have suffered, whether from illegal drugs, alcohol or even coffee (which harms far more than cannabis does), I see no sense in sticking to a policy that is failing miserably

.Lesley's son has suffered and it is the illegal dealers who are to blame, not a cannabis cafe that hasn't progressed past the planning stage.

Let's give this cannabis cafe a chance. One thing is sure, speed, cocaine, Ecstasy, heroin etc, will not be available there!

Alun Buffry