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Colchester: Market man plans cannabis cafe

Colchester: Market man plans cannabis cafe

Colchester Evening Echo

A Colchester market trader is hoping to establish the town's first Amsterdam-style cannabis cafe.

Dave Beard, 43, operates a stall in Trinity Square selling smoking paraphernalia and marijuana seeds.

Because of grey areas in the law, these items can be sold legally so long as the seeds are not grown and the "bongs", pipes and specially long cigarette papers are not used with illegal substances.

His stall, trading under the name Culture Stir, has operated since 1986.

Following changes to UK drugs policy announced by the Home Secretary this year which will make marijuana possession a non-arrestable offence Mr Beard is hoping to test the rules with a cafe tolerating the consumption of the drug.

"As soon as I can find somewhere I want to start up a professionally run cafe where people can come and smoke and I won't ask them what they are smoking."

Essex Police said they would come down hard on any attempt to establish a cafe.

A spokesman said: "We will enter and arrest anyone found to be ingesting cannabis. It remains an illegal substance and we will come down hard on the organisers of any such."

Published Friday August 9, 2002

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