Kent

Thanet cannabis cafe planned by Green Party councillor

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Media captionThanet councillor Ian Driver said he would ask the police to "tolerate" the cafe

A Green Party councillor has urged police to turn a blind eye to his plans for a cannabis cafe in Kent.

Thanet councillor Ian Driver, who described himself as a former user of cannabis and other illegal drugs when he was younger, has proposed the plan.

A public meeting is to be held on Saturday in Broadstairs to discuss setting up the cafe.

Kent Police said: "Our role is to enforce the law which states that cannabis is a Class B controlled drug."

'Relaxing atmosphere'

"People in Thanet who use cannabis have been speaking to me and it seems natural to suggest we get together and talk about the possibility of opening a cafe," said Mr Driver.

"It makes eminent sense to have a nice relaxing atmosphere where cannabis users, for recreational or medicinal purposes, can get together and enjoy themselves just as other people go out for a drink.

"We are going to talk to the police and ask them to be tolerant of the cafe."

David Raynes, of the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said anybody organising a cannabis cafe would be subject to fines and penalties.

"They would leave themselves very vulnerable," he said.

"I am a bit baffled as to why they think they can get away with it."

Kent Police said: "Our role is to enforce the law which states that cannabis is a Class B controlled drug and possession is an offence which carries a maximum five year prison term.

"The use of any premises for any drug-related activity, which would include the use of cannabis, is an offence punishable by imprisonment of up to 14 years with an unlimited fine.

"Permitting smoking on any business premises is also an offence punishable by a £2,500 fine."

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