Colin Davies, a disabled medical marijuana user and advocate who opened England’s first official marijuana coffee shop last September, has been freed from Strangeways Prison after seven months in captivity.
Davies, who opened the Holland-style coffee shop called “The Dutch Experience” in Stockport in partnership with Dutch cannaguru Nol Van Schaik, was remanded into custody last year after he refused to assure judges that he would refrain from re-opening his shop, which had been repeatedly harassed and shut down by police.
The disabled man, who suffers severe pain and dysfunction due to a spinal injury caused by a drunken idiot, spent much of his time in the prison’s hospital ward, where authorities tried to force him to ingest chemical drugs to take the place of the medical marijuana that he had found was best for his problems.
The Dutch Experience has been constantly attacked by police since its opening in September, 2001, but Davies, Van Schaik, Dutch and English pot advocates, and medpot patients stood down police using true grit and creative protests that saw Manchester courts and jails flooded with cannabis users who forced police to arrest them and then demanded expensive jury trials for minor marijuana possession charges.
Van Schaik, cannagoddess Maruska De Blauuw, Marcel “Willie Wortels” Dekker, DJ Maarten Goodeman, Baby Bart, Patman, and dozens of other brave activists and volunteers from both sides of the English channel valiantly kept The Dutch Experience open after a judge sent Davies to prison last winter.
Davies has refused to promise judges that he will stay out of the cannabis business, and they have refused to grant him bail until this week, when they finally relented.
The activist’s bail conditions are stringent; they include a ban on his ability to physically be present in the Manchester area, which means that Davies will not be able to see his home, friends, or children. He is scheduled to stand trial for various severe marijuana charges in June this year.
The spritely and witty Davies has twice before beaten pot charges in court, using a medical marijuana defense, and has openly grown and sold marijuana without apology or dishonesty for several years. Davies is famous worldwide for a stunt in which he gave a pot posey to England’s recently-deceased and beloved Queen Mum. He has also given marijuana to Prince Charles, and there are rumors that he may have toked up with Prince Andrew, Lady Diana, and other members of the Royal Family, all of whom look like they could use some good herb right now.
“Colin’s courage and example should inspire people everywhere to do whatever it takes to ensure cannabis freedom,” said an elated nol Van Schaik when informed of Davies’ release. “There are now other coffee shops opening across the UK, and the British government has been forced to change its marijuana policies because they realized that Dutch policies made more sense than their own, and because they found out that some pot people will not back down and let a government and its police forces steal their medicine from them.”