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Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Cannabis cafe raided as owner jailed
Colin Davies
Colin Davies said the cannabis was for medicinal use
The UK's first Amsterdam-style cannabis cafe has been raided on the same day its owner was jailed.

The news came just hours after cafe owner Colin Davies was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of drugs offences.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed on Thursday the Dutch Experience cafe in Stockport had been raided by officers.

Davies had claimed the cafe was set up for seriously ill people who used the class B drug for medicinal use.

The Dutch Experience cafe
Davies was arrested after smoking a joint at the cafe
His defence team applied for his immediate release because he has already served nine months in jail, but the judge refused.

Davies, 44, from Romney Towers, Brinnington, Stockport, was arrested when the cafe opened on 15 September 2001 after being caught smoking a joint.

He had claimed the cafe was based on similar ventures - the so-called "medi-weed" system - which operate in the Netherlands.

He said his clientele were people who smoked cannabis to ease painful illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

'Help others'

But he was found guilty of three counts of possessing a class B drug with intent to supply, of supplying a class B drug and of being involved in the importation of cannabis.

His trial heard customs officers seized cannabis worth 18,000 at Dover and 430 ready-made joints destined for addresses linked to Davies.

The prosecution also alleged 3,000 cash found at his flat was the proceeds from the sale of the drug.

Davies was also convicted of permitting the premises to be used for the smoking of the drug.

In passing sentence, the judge said Davies had persistently flouted the law.

James McCrindell, for the defence, said: "This episode began out of a genuine belief on the part of Davies that it was appropriate to help others who were in difficult circumstances in relation to their medical condition."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Philip Bromwell
"Three people were arrested on public order and drug offences"

Click here to go to Manchester
See also:

02 Oct 02 | England
23 Sep 02 | England
24 Jul 02 | UK
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