are in Library / Coffeeshops
Dutch Experience campaign
first Amsterdam style coffee shop opened on the 15th September 2001 in Stockport,
Manchester. The police shut it down, but it re-opened later that day. Read the
story of the opening day - click here
shop carried on for a couple of months and proved to be a very popular venue in
the local community and indeed began to attract a lot of press interest.
Davies, the owner, was arrested and held in detention without trial for seven
months on remand. Read the announcment of his release here from Nol van Schaik,
Co-founder of the Dutch Experience. Click here
Dutch Experience was raided in late November, a totally unexpect development given
the relaxed and tolerant attitude of the police up till then. Read UKCIA's report
- click here.
a result of this raid Colin Davies the owner is being held in Strangeways prison
(in the hospital wing) and he needs your help, for some ideas of what you can
do, click here
the year drew to an end, the protests in support of the Dutch Experience began
to grow. Two MEP's "turned themselves in" by admitting to the possession
of a symbolic amount of cannabis, coach tours were arranged and support groups
held demos. At the start of 2002 the protests continued with a third MEP presenting
himself for arrest, only to be turned away by the police. 29th January saw the
first in the series of court trials and the C! day demo.
tour on the Cannabus!
Saturday 22nd December, the.magical mystery Cannabus took to the streets of Manchester.
Continuing the campaign to free Colin Davis from his incarceration in Strangeways
prison, a group of activists made a roundabout trip from Colin's home area to
the heart of Manchester Piccadilly. Complete with on-board sound system and 5000
leaflets, the bus brought the injustice to the attention of the public in style!|
support Chris Davies
19th December 2001:
Davies, the Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West offered himself for arrest
by Greater Manchester police for possession of a tiny amount of cannabis resin
on a postage stamp on Saturday 15th December. It took place at the police station,
Lee Street, Stockport during the latest demonstration in support of Colin Davies
and the Dutch Experience coffee shop.
waned to draw attention to the experience of his constituent, Colin Davies (no
relation) who is currently in Strangeways prison on remand while awaiting trial
on cannabis-related offences. Colin has been repeatedly denied bail despite never
having being convicted of a drugs-related offence. This arrest would seem to indicate
that the Stockport police are acting not so much to uphold the law, but rather
to prevent a political point from being made. More news when we get it.
will appeare in court on Thursday 20th December
Chris Davies MEP being arrested
News Online report
Chris Davies news release
Chris Davies's press release pre demo
Libdem cannabis policy
MEP's press release
Stockport police have confirmed that a second MEP has been
arrested whilst making a protest in support of Colin Davies, the owner of the
"Dutch Experience", Britain's first cannabis coffeeshop in Stockport.
Capatto was charged with possession of a tiny amount of cannabis on a postage
stamp, he refused bail and was held overnight to appear in magistrates court today
(Friday 21st). He has now accepted bail form the magistrates and will return toward
the end of January.
a separate development, Chris Davies, the Lib Dem MEP for the North West has opted
for a jury trial. He was charged with possession of a tiny amount of cannabis
in a symbolic demonstration in support of Colin on Saturday 15th December.
have also heard that Colin Davies is being held in custody and will not appear
in court until February at the earliest.
are becoming a weekly event with a constant stream of people offering themselves
information will follow as we get it. Thanks to Experiencewm - click here
Vigil for Colin
Sunday 16th December about 20 supporters of Colin held a vigil outside Strangeways
prison to wish Colin a happy Christmas.
collected signatures on a Christmas card which was sent by registered post later
vigils are planned in support of Colin.
was sent to UKCIA
Colins' Chrstmas card
to let everyone know we collected well over 100 signatures on the roundrobin Xmas
card for Colin Davies here in Manchester - and with those
friends I've heard
from who are taking it round their workplaces and sending it on direct to Colin
@ Strangeways, it's probably nearer 200 now.
who signed include teaching and non-teaching staff at my partner's school in Stretford,
local social services team, hospital workers, town hall workers, and most people
at two xmas socials, one for refugees/asylum seekers, the other our local anti-war
group. There's such goodwill out there !
All the best, Penny
police back down and refuse to charge MEP
Experience Press release
- Click here
report on the day
- Click here
28th January 2002
MEP Marco Pannella
Stockport police seem uncertain how to handle the demostrations in support of
the Dutch Experience coffee shop. Up top now they had adopted a hard line approach,
arresting people even for simple possession. Just before Christmas two MEP's were
arrested for possession of tiny, symbolic, amounts of cannabis.
when nonviolent Italian radical party leader, MEP Marco Pannella presented himself
for arrest in a similar act of civil dissobedience on Monday 28th January things
went differently. About 25 of protesters stood outside Stockport police station
whilst Marco Pannella gave a press statement. Unlike previous occassions, there
were no police present.
In the end he had to go into the station to
be arrested as nobody would come out at all, so along with about 15 folk and loads
of cameras he went in. The police quickly kicked all the cameras out, then proceeded
to do something strange.
confiscated Marco's Panellas weed, gave him a receipt for it and told him it was
not in the public interest to arrest him. They had stated in the past that when
challenged with overtly illegal behaviour they would enforce the law to the full,
not this time, not even a caution just a bit of paper saying "we have nicked
Davies - witnesses required
who has received medicine from Colin for or who tried to recieve medicine and
who wants to be a defence witness at his trial please contact:
Hinnet at Henry and Co Solicitors 0161 477 8558
The more patients
they hear from the better (looking for over 200 to attend court as defence witnesses)
day - for a report on the demo in support of Colin Davies and the
Dutch Experience in Stockport on Jauary 29th - click here
Northwest and Granada TV news reports
BBC - Click here
Granada Click here
and 1.41MB - open in Media player)
letter from Colin to The Manchester Evening News, February 2002 - Click here
B or Class C!, Colin Davies should be free!
Davies released on bail!|
Davies, Co-founder of the Dutch Experience Coffee shop in Stockport was released
on bail on Friday 17th May by Manchester Crown court after serving SEVEN months
what end was Colins time on remand justified? The Dutch Experience coffeeshop
is still open, and many more cannabis entrepreneurs are now following in Colins
footsteps with at least 12 more coffeeshops opening nationwide this summer.
it right that an disabled man who has twice been vindicated by a jury can be locked
up to silence him?
has now served his time whether he is found guilty or not, the state has exacted
its punishment on him by using the remand law in a wholly unjustified way.
release has been under very stringent bail conditions which allows him very limited
movement on release, one major restriction is that Colin stays out of the Greater
Manchester area, which excludes him from his home (not seen in seven months),
easy contact with his children, and the chance to start to put his life back together
in his own community after being imprisoned with out trial for far too long.
attitude towards cannabis in the UK has now shifted towards a more understanding
and accepting attitude, with our own governments advisory bodies stating
clearly that cannabis is less harmful than either of the two legal drugs alcohol
and tobacco. With this justified change in attitude to cannabis how can the UK
Home Office justify their treatment of Colin Davies,
a man who has twice beaten
them in court by being HONEST, and a man who has only tried to help sick and disabled
people like himself ?
is free now, with the aforementioned restrictions, his dream is still
alive, the Dutch Experience is open for over 9 months today, and became a symbol
for cannabis activists around the world.
trial is set for June 24, 2002, in Manchester Crown Court, where a jury has to
decide if he is guilty or not, after hearing dozens of witnesses on Colins
behalf. All in the publics interest.
Co-founder of the Dutch Experience.
was re-arrested on Monday, July 1st - click here
Davis found guilty - Dutch Experience raided
the founder of the UK's first cannabis coffeeshop in Stockport was sentenced today
(Thursday 3rd October), nearly a year after the shop was raided by Greater Manchester
was given various sentences up to a max of 2 years for the offences the jury found
him guilty of yesterday (to run 'concurrently). the heaviest sentences for November
20th offences because he'd carried on after the September busts
12 months each (also to run 'concurrently') for the PERJURY and POSSESSION WITH
INTENT TO SUPPLY charges from July of this year, which he pleaded guilty to this
the two groups of sentences to run consecutively, so a total of 3 years.
packed public gallery were shocked into a stunned silence by the severity of the
is a possibility of an appeal against the sentences but that will probably take
think Colin will be back in Strangeways for now but will probably be moved to
another (hopefully better) prison fairly soon now he has been convicted.
Senior was also in court to face Perjury charges - he pleaded not guilty and the
Crown decided it wasn't in the public interest to go ahead.
was found guilty of three counts of possessing a Class B drug with intent to supply
at Manchester's Minshull Crown Court, also of supplying a Class B drug and of
being involved in the importation of cannabis.
was also convicted of permitting the premises to be used for the smoking|
jury of seven men and five women took just over five hours to reach their
after the sentences were passed, around 50 police raided the cafe.
Press release - click here
remains the most popular drug in the EU.
had the second highest number of users who had tried the drug at least once (second
only to Denmark).
adult Britons, 27% said they had smoked a joint
of young Britons said so.
4th Ocotber 2002
Full story - click here