cannabisnews.com: MP Campaigns for Cannabis Cafes 





MP Campaigns for Cannabis Cafes 
Posted by FoM on April 21, 2000 at 19:58:44 PT
By Michael White, Political Editor 
Source: Guardian Unlimited
A Labour MP yesterday launched a campaign to stimulate public debate on the decriminalisation of cannabis by asking fellow MPs to back the licensing of Amsterdam-style cafes where users can buy and smoke their joints legally. 
Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West, has long been a thorn in the flesh of successive governments over restrictive attitudes towards soft drugs, which a Police Foundation report has said would not be more widely used if some penalties were cut. Tony Blair and the home secretary, Jack Straw, have been vigorously hostile to liberalisation, although Mr Straw recently conceded the case for a wider debate, after the Daily Telegraph wrong-footed Downing Street, by admitting that the issue should be aired - and a trial period of legalisation granted. Mr Flynn, a former industrial chemist and arthritis sufferer, said yesterday: "I have been told by a very sensible Tory that 60 to 80 Tory MPs would support the licensing of cafes in a free vote if William Hague was not so opposed. "I do not believe it would be an electoral liability. You would lose people at one end and gain them at the other end - where voters think the government is being daft." Mr Flynn yesterday wrote to all his fellow MPs, except hard line opponents of legalisation of cannabis, urging them to back two Commons motions. One would promote the medical use of cannabis, which is known to ease the pain of multiple sclerosis sufferers, the other would be in favour of a "cafe" system. With Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, calling for public debate on the drugs issue, Mr Flynn will see how much support he has before presenting two bills - based on the motions - to the Commons on June 9. He is also taking a report to the Council of Europe, where he is rapporteur of the social policy and health committee, examining drug use in two "repressive" states - Britain and Switzerland - and two liberal ones, Sweden and the Netherlands. Use is similar, but drug-related social problems are worse under repressive regimes, he will argue. But critics say that 20 years of liberalisation have built up deep problems for the Netherlands, including one of the highest levels of Class A drug use - notably heroin - in Europe. The Police Foundation report suggested that penalties for possession of illegal drugs should be reduced, but supplying them should remain a serious offence. It recommended that possession of cannabis should be punishable only by cautions or fixed fines. Michael White, Political Editor Published: Saturday April 22, 2000 Guardian Unlimited  Guardian Newspapers Limited Drugs in Britain: Special Report:http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/drugs/Related Articles & Web Site:Legalise Cannabis Alliancehttp://www.lca-uk.org/Police Boost for Pro-Cannabis Lobbyhttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5310.shtmlCannabis Coffee Shops Proposedhttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5244.shtmlHigh Spots in History - U.K. - BBChttp://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_294000/294756.stm Amsterdam Articles:Amsterdam Police Publish Tourist Guide To Red Light Districthttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5474.shtmlTraveling To Amsterdam For The Cannabis Cup http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4022.shtmlBuying Pot Online; Illegal Connections On The Web http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread3096.shtmlA 'Great Joint' Just for Coffeehttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread1737.shtml 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 21, 2000 at 21:09:04 PT
Here are contact links
Thanks Tom,Maybe if you let them know or others do they will correct the article. I will repost a corrected article.Email the editors:Simon Waldman, the head of Guardian Unlimited, can be contacted at: simon.waldman guardian.co.ukDavid Rowan, the editor of Guardian Unlimited, can be contacted at: david.rowan guardian.co.ukSimon Rogers, deputy editor of Guardian Unlimited, can be contacted at: simon.rogers guardian.co.ukhttp://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/index/contacts/0,3109,168597,00.html
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Comment #1 posted by Tom on April 21, 2000 at 20:41:11 PT
Correction in Article...
The above article states:"He is also taking a report to the Council of Europe, wherehe is rapporteur of the social policy and health committee,examining drug use in two "repressive" states - Britain andSwitzerland - and two liberal ones, Sweden and theNetherlands."That statement is WRONG. Sweden is not liberal ondrugs, it is very oppressive. Sweden is not liberalon drug use, it is very oppressive. Switzerland isnot oppressive on drug use, it is very liberal.It should read..."He is also taking a report to the Council of Europe, wherehe is rapporteur of the social policy and health committee,examining drug use in two "repressive" states - Britain andSweden - and two liberal ones, Switzerland and theNetherlands."
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