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Sunday, 18 November, 2001, 13:45 GMT
Police warn against cannabis cafe
The cannabis debate is now reignited in Scotland
Scottish police have said that any plans to open a cannabis café north of the border would be illegal.

The statement from officers on Tayside follows reports in two Sunday newspapers that campaigners for the medical use of the drug are considering opening an Amsterdam-style café in Dundee.

The Sunday Herald and Scotland and Sunday newspapers reported that the cafe planned to offer cut-price "medi-weed" for people with medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, while also catering for recreational users.

The proposal mirrors a similar venture in England, when the UK's first marijuana cafe - The Dutch Experience - opened in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in September.

Tayside Police
Tayside Police say any cafe would be illegal
Tayside Police said on Sunday: "We have no knowledge of any plans to open a cannabis cafe in the city.

"As the law stands, anyone doing this in Scotland would be acting illegally."

Both Sunday newspapers reported that a Scottish branch of the Medical Marijuana Co-operative (MMCO) was looking to open a café in Dundee.

An activist for the MMCO in Scotland told Scotland on Sunday: "We will be up and running before Christmas.

"There is somebody already seeking property full-time in the city and, when he has found it, he will then become the `front runner' - the person who will be faced with the prospect of the harassment from the local forces.

Cannabis reclassified

"Cannabis will be available on the premises but it won't be advertised as being sold on the premises. The owner won't be aware of the details."

The MMCO's decision to open a cafe north of the border follows a decision last month by Home Secretary David Blunkett that cannabis would be reclassified from a class 'B' to a class 'C' drug.

This will put it on par with tranquilisers and anabolic steroids - a move which some groups interpret as the first step towards decriminalisation.

A number of people were arrested when The Dutch Experience café opened in Stockport, but despite the initial police intervention it continues to operate.

Earlier this month it emerged that cafes similar to the one in Stockport may also be opened in Cumbria and Worthing, West Sussex.

See also:

06 Jul 01 | Scotland
MacDonald resurrects dope debate
06 Jul 01 | UK Politics
Call to legalise cannabis rejected
01 Jul 01 | UK
Cannabis price plummets
02 Jul 01 | UK Politics
Cannabis 'not being decriminalised'
31 May 01 | UK
'Pain drove me to pot'
06 Jul 01 | UK Politics
The drugs debate
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