Source: Yorkshire Evening Press.

Pub Art We will have to wait and see

Pub Date: Monday April 15 2002

Author: Richard Edwards.


Headline by newshawk



 A CANNABIS café is not due to become part of York's café culture, despite reports that a dozen such outlets could open across the country, pro-cannabis campaigners say.

Two cannabis cafes have already opened in the UK, one in Stockport and another in Bournemouth Reports claim cafes are planned for at least 13 other UK cities, following news cannabis could be downgraded to a class 'C' drug, from class 'B.' This would drastically reduce penalties for possession.

But Don Barnard, spokesman for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, said he was not aware of any plans to open a café here. "It is down to individual people in individual areas. The cafes are not part of a chain. "I am not aware of any plans for York at the moment, but who knows what the future may hold," he said.

Detective Inspector Ian Wills, head of North Yorkshire Police drugs squad, said any cannabis café would be dealt with if and when one opened. He said: "There is a lot of debate about cannabis at the moment. We are going to have to wait and see."

Steve Galloway, leader of City of York Council's Liberal Democrat group, said he supports his party's policy of decriminalising cannabis for personal use. But he added: "Until that decriminalisation is in place we would never advise anyone to break the existing laws.

"Anyway, as far as I am aware there are no plans to open that kind of establishment in York."

Council leader Rod Hills said the Labour group would oppose any cannabis café unless there was a law change.

But Frank Ormston, of York Socialist Alliance, said the group would support a cannabis café.

"We wouldn't call for one to open here but if people were trying to close it we would campaign for it to stay open," he said.

Conservative group leader John Galvin said: "Cannabis cafes might have a place in Amsterdam but I am not sure they have a place in York."

And Adam Sinclair, chairman of York Chamber of Trade said: "Provided all commercial activities in York stay within the law we welcome well presented and sophisticated businesses of any kind."