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Uk: Cannabis Shop Used Charity Cash

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by weedboss, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. A ROW broke out today as it emerged that a city shop selling cannabis seeds and equipment was set up with funding from the Prince's Trust.

    Grow Systems, in Lincoln Road, New England, Peterborough, is part of a chain which originally received money from the charity set up by the Prince of Wales.

    At the store, customers can buy UKP 230 "starter kits", which include cannabis seeds, lamp heaters and tanks to grow the plants in.

    And it's all perfectly legal.

    Possession of cannabis only becomes illegal once the seeds have been grown into plants.

    The case highlights how vague and confusing the law is when it comes to cannabis.

    Currently, possession of the Class B drug can mean a maximum five years in prison, while dealers can face 14 years.

    However, Home Secretary David Blunkett has indicated that it will be down-graded to a Class C drug later this year, meaning a prison sentence for possession is unlikely.

    Today, the Prince's Trust refused to reveal how much money it had given Grow Systems.

    A spokesman added: "When we granted a loan to Grow Systems, it was marketing equipment for the growth of salad vegetables and fruit.

    "The Prince's Trust does not support the use of illegal substances in any circumstances, and does not provide start-up funding to businesses that promote such activity."

    The shop in Peterborough is the third to be opened by the company, after others in Cambridge and Norwich.

    Today, manager Jim Norton ( 28 ), from Ramsey, who admits to being a "casual user" of the drug, said: "We don't get any problems from the police.

    "When officers do come in they just take a look around, smile, and walk out."

    Inspector Mark Birchall, of Peterborough police, said: "We take a very dim view of the sale of these items.

    "Some people are confused about cannabis laws, but it is illegal to cultivate plants, even if they are for your own use."

    Cllr Charles Swift, who represents New England, said: "Residents will be wondering what the world is coming to when a place like this can open and trade freely."

    "Smoking cannabis is illegal and we cannot condone a shop like this on our doorsteps."

    Think-Tank's New Report

    THE row about the opening of Grow Systems has broken out in the same week that a think-tank urged the Government to encourage drug users to grown their own cannabis.

    A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said this would put a halt to the dealers.

    Professor Mike Hough, author of the report, said: "As their profits from cannabis sales diminished, criminal entrepreneurs could be forced to abandon the cannabis market altogether."

    Jim Norton, manager of the Grow Systems shop, said: "I agree with those comments. The whole industry needs to be taken out of the hands of the criminals

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