Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

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notsofasteddie
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Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by notsofasteddie » Sat 6th Oct 2012 01:08 pm

Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

By Steve Elliott
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Image
Smokenhagen Coffeeshop/Facebook

Scandinavia may never be the same. Police in Copenhagen on Friday shut down Denmark's first cannabis "coffeeshop" cafe. At Smokenhagen, customers could buy marijuana over the counter, get a receipt, and smoke it openly right there in the cafe.

During the raid, the police confiscated all the cannabis, but the shop is expected to reopen again soon, reports Danish website jv.dk.

Smokenhagen Coffeeshop openly sells cannabis following the Dutch model.

Image
Smokenhagen Coffeeshop/Facebook
Friends relax at Smokenhagen Coffeeshop in downtown Copenhagen, Denmark

Officer Jens Kristiansen told the Berlingske News Bureau that the police raided the coffeeshop around lunchtime on Friday.

"The cafe was closed after our officers decided that there was illegal activity going on," Kristiansen said. "We confiscated drugs."

The police wouldn't disclose the amount of cannabis that was seized in the raid. What the Danish newspapers aren't reporting is that marijuana was also being grown in Smokenhagen's basement.

"On Thursday morning, I packed my whole huge grow room with nine strains of delicious Skunk together

According to jv.dk, this isn't the first time police have closed the shop.

"We have been there many times during the summer," Kristiansen said. "And we will go there again after the cafe opens again."

Although it's well known that you can be marijuana or hashish if you visit "Pusher Street" in Copenhagan's Christiania "hippie district," this is the first storefront coffeeshop in the country, and it's right in the middle of Copenhagen.

According to owner Khodr "Cutter" Mehri, who appeared on the Danish TV show Afternshowet on Thursday, the cafe should be seen as a part of the debate on legalizing cannabis in Denmark. The show's host, Peter Skaarup, disagreed with Khodr on cannabis legalization, claiming "There is a big danger kids and youth would buy cannabis."

Marijuana legalization has become a very hot debate in Denmark and throughout Northern Europe. In Copenhagen, a majority of politicians are in favor of legalizing marijuana and hash, but have been stymied by more conservative politicians in their efforts to experiment with legalizing cannabis sales in Denmark's capital city.

According to operator Khodr, "thousands of people" worked together to open the cafe, reports Berlingske News Bureau.

Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen recently said he is very open to legalizing cannabis, and the political party "Endhedslisten" (a Red-Green alliance) in Copenhagen County is putting on a conference on the topic to the tune of 100,000 Danish kroner (just over $17,000 U.S.).

Smokenhagen Coffeeshop, which maintains a Facebook page, is located on Copenhagn's Lavendelsstræde (Lavender Street).

Editor's note: Toke of the Town wishes to thank Joseph R. Charles for his help in translating Danish news stories and providing additional details.

Image
Smokenhagen Coffeeshop/Facebook


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Kingdoc
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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by Kingdoc » Sun 7th Oct 2012 12:02 am

Ah they wont keep that down! its just a matter of time for them! & badbone!! tell kongo to put the coffee on!! ).

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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by treetop » Sun 7th Oct 2012 12:29 am

notsofasteddie wrote:Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

By Steve Elliott
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Image
Smokenhagen Coffeeshop/Facebook

Scandinavia may never be the same. Police in Copenhagen on Friday shut down Denmark's first cannabis "coffeeshop" cafe. At Smokenhagen, customers could buy marijuana over the counter, get a receipt, and smoke it openly right there in the cafe.

During the raid, the police confiscated all the cannabis, but the shop is expected to reopen again soon, reports Danish website jv.dk.

Smokenhagen Coffeeshop openly sells cannabis following the Dutch model.

Image
Smokenhagen Coffeeshop/Facebook
Friends relax at Smokenhagen Coffeeshop in downtown Copenhagen, Denmark

Officer Jens Kristiansen told the Berlingske News Bureau that the police raided the coffeeshop around lunchtime on Friday.

"The cafe was closed after our officers decided that there was illegal activity going on," Kristiansen said. "We confiscated drugs."

The police wouldn't disclose the amount of cannabis that was seized in the raid. What the Danish newspapers aren't reporting is that marijuana was also being grown in Smokenhagen's basement.

"On Thursday morning, I packed my whole huge grow room with nine strains of delicious Skunk together

According to jv.dk, this isn't the first time police have closed the shop.

"We have been there many times during the summer," Kristiansen said. "And we will go there again after the cafe opens again."

Although it's well known that you can be marijuana or hashish if you visit "Pusher Street" in Copenhagan's Christiania "hippie district," this is the first storefront coffeeshop in the country, and it's right in the middle of Copenhagen.

According to owner Khodr "Cutter" Mehri, who appeared on the Danish TV show Afternshowet on Thursday, the cafe should be seen as a part of the debate on legalizing cannabis in Denmark. The show's host, Peter Skaarup, disagreed with Khodr on cannabis legalization, claiming "There is a big danger kids and youth would buy cannabis."

Marijuana legalization has become a very hot debate in Denmark and throughout Northern Europe. In Copenhagen, a majority of politicians are in favor of legalizing marijuana and hash, but have been stymied by more conservative politicians in their efforts to experiment with legalizing cannabis sales in Denmark's capital city.

According to operator Khodr, "thousands of people" worked together to open the cafe, reports Berlingske News Bureau.

Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen recently said he is very open to legalizing cannabis, and the political party "Endhedslisten" (a Red-Green alliance) in Copenhagen County is putting on a conference on the topic to the tune of 100,000 Danish kroner (just over $17,000 U.S.).

Smokenhagen Coffeeshop, which maintains a Facebook page, is located on Copenhagn's Lavendelsstræde (Lavender Street).

Editor's note: Toke of the Town wishes to thank Joseph R. Charles for his help in translating Danish news stories and providing additional details.

Image
Smokenhagen Coffeeshop/Facebook


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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by craig bell » Tue 23rd Oct 2012 05:52 pm

Maybe Denmark might become the new Amsterdam. I'm sure at one point in the past some guy in Edinburgh opened a coffeeshop. I'm positive of it. It was when in the UK weed had been Decriminalised. That would be great if that happened again. Who knows what could happen in Scotland in the next few years. If Scotland are given permission to break away from the rest of the UK. Ballot starts in 2014. So hopefully Amsterdam stays open. My prediction is it will. Long may the Coffeeshop's grow in Denmark just in case. :D :mrgreen:
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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by arkan » Thu 1st Nov 2012 03:47 am

There was a coffeeshop that operated just off the highstreet in Stockport just south of Manchester.
It was closed down on the first day, but reopened in the afternoon. It operated for a good couple of months while the owner was on bail waiting for trial, and the place closed down when the owner was jailed for 3 years.

Also im sure there was one in Hove (next to brighton) aswell.

I know for a fact though (because i used to go to it) that there is a 'underground' somewhere in south manchester. Its a normal shop, but just down in the storeroom is a great little 'cafe'.
Frequent a place in rusholme enough times and they'll tell you about it. :wink:

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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by john quays » Thu 1st Nov 2012 09:14 am

arkan wrote:There was a coffeeshop that operated just off the highstreet in Stockport just south of Manchester.
It was closed down on the first day, but reopened in the afternoon. It operated for a good couple of months while the owner was on bail waiting for trial, and the place closed down when the owner was jailed for 3 years.
Yeah, the Dutch Experience. I went there twice: first time soon after opening, it was packed, big bloke in the corner selling baggies out of his coat pockets. Second time I couldn't work out what was going on and didn't like to ask (gaaah) but I think the selling part had moved to the back room. I found out afterwards you needed to become a member and then had access to some sort of automatic dispenser round the back.

I seem to remember from reading boards at the time that whole thing went belly up over the stealing of a copper's hat...
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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by Colina » Thu 1st Nov 2012 09:56 am

In Stockport? :shock: I was there for a school exchange 20 years ago!
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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by notsofasteddie » Mon 4th Feb 2013 04:12 am

Up in smoke: Notorious ‘coffee shop’ closes its doors

Peter Stanners
January 15, 2013


Police pressure leads to closure of downtown cafe for cannabis users, but its owner's mission to decriminalise the drug may have only just begun.

Image

As is evidenced by the photograph, Khodr 'Cutter' Mehri enjoys smoking cannabis and has vowed to keep up his struggle to decriminalise the drug (Photo: Peter Stanners)

Khodr ‘Cutter’ Mehri is a pro-cannabis activist and provocateur. Through his Facebook page he publicly advertises his exploits: growing high-quality cannabis in his cellar, smoking it openly on the street, and rolling smokeable 'joints' while travelling on aeroplanes. His campaign is to decriminalise cannabis, and his strategy is to normalise its use to such an extent that laws banning the use of cannabis will seem out of step and obsolete.

The 32-year-old faced a setback this weekend, however, after he was forced to close his nine-month-old shop, Smokenhagen. Modelled on a Dutch-style ‘coffee shop’ that permits cannabis smoking, its location on Lavendelstræde is a stone’s throw from City Hall where the mayor, Frank Jensen, recently told The Copenhagen Post that legalising cannabis was the only solution to tackling the crime associated with its illegal trade.

“I’ve wanted to own a coffee shop since I first visited Amsterdam,” Mehri told The Copenhagen Post days before Smokenhagen’s closure. “I realised that Denmark also needed a controlled environment for cannabis smokers. I think that if we had this, then many of the people who became criminals never would have done so. There are no weapons or trouble here.”

In its prime, Smokenhagen extended over two floors and included a café and a shop that sold merchandise and paraphernalia for growing and smoking cannabis. But when The Copenhagen Post arrives to meet Mehri, little remains except murals depicting Bob Marley and the deceased Danish dancehall singer Natasja.

Image
Mehri rolls a joint as he talks to the Copenhagen Post reporter (Photo: Peter Stanners)

Mehri is sitting with three young men around a lone table at the back of the upper room. They are playing backgammon and smoking a joint while a puppy bounds around our feet. As he throws the dice, blue smoke wafting out of his nostrils, Mehri says he’s not upset about the shop’s premature closure.

“I’m relieved actually. It was about time,” he says.

Mehri is closing down voluntarily after pressure from the housing association and landlords who he claims were threatened with criminal charges by the police.

The police have been regular visitors to Smokenhagen. But while most encounters were friendly, their relationship turned sour one recent evening. A policemen had demanded to enter after claiming he could smell cannabis out on the street. Mehri refused to open to let him in and the police proceeded to batter down the door and pepper-spray Mehri and his guests before confiscating some cannabis.

The door is now roughly boarded up and as herolls another joint Mehri admits that it would have been smarter to open the door.

“But I think I should have the right to deny police entry to my property unless they have a warrant,” he says. “I started the coffee shop to send a message. There’s still nowhere warm you can go and smoke a joint and play backgammon and we need that. We have a lot of young people ending up in the wrong environment because there’s no good place to hang out and socialise and smoke. The only warm, indoor spaces available to smoke cannabis brings them into contact with criminals.”

The interview is repeatedly interrupted as Mehri has to open the locked front door to dozens of mostly young men who pass in and out of the shop. Sitting with us around the table is 27-year-old photography student Mikkel Rask, who says he is tired of the harassment that cannabis users suffer in the city.

Image

One of the shop's users spraypainted this message on the building after Mehdi was denied permission to put up a sign: "Some people want free [cannabis] for the people, we want a free people for [cannabis]" (Photo: Peter Stanners)
“If you can get pepper sprayed for smoking cannabis, then there’s something wrong with Denmark,” Rask explained. “I don’t want to worry about the police busting me on the Metro after visiting Christiania. I’m not hurting anyone. It should be up to the individual to decide how they treat their body. It might not be for everyone, but if it were legal, people could more easily get help and it would also eliminate a lot of criminality. I can’t see what the problem is.”

Mehri was denied permission to put up a sign outside the shop. According to Rask, this infuriated Mehri so much that he invited the shop's users to put up their own sign. A message painted in red graffiti above the entrance now declares: "Some people want free [cannabis] for the people, we want a free people for [cannabis]."

While the message may be a little lost in translation, Rask and Mehri seem to agree that people ought to be entitled to make their own decisions about whether or not to consume cannabis products.

“I acknowledge there’s harm, but not permanent harm. If you’re over 18, it should be your own decision. If you’re not acting responsibly, your friends should help you to not smoke everyday. It shouldn’t be completely banned,” Mehri says, adding that he didn’t start smoking regularly until he was in his early 20s.

Support for the decriminalisation of cannabis is growing. Mayor Jensen is a vocal advocate and so is a majority on the City Council. Mehri also enjoys plenty of grass-roots support. More than 60 of his friends each chipped in 1,500 kroner to join Smokenhagen as members in order to secure the deposit for the building. A survey from last summer also indicated that a majority of Danes supported a state-controlled cannabis market.


Image
Mehri, Rask and friend in Smokenhagen shortly before its closure (Photo: Peter Stanners)

However, possessing and selling cannabis remain criminal offences. The Justice Ministry turned down the city’s application to trial a period of cannabis decriminalisation. As a result, Smokenhagen’s chances of surviving were all but extinguished. But Mehri says that was hardly the point.

“The coffee shop raised a lot of awareness and started an important debate. I don’t know if it was a success, but it created a closer bond between smokers. And my goal was to gather all the people together who are really fed up with the system and the laws. I’m still working on the project, and in time it will be a, success but we are still getting there.”

Despite its short-lived existence, it was not in vain. Without it, it's unlikely that Mehri would have managed to develop his personal clothing brand, Smokenhagen (he told the Copenhagen Post that he took no salary from the shop). It also served as a convergence point for the city's cannabis smokers that helped him generate support for his association PropaGanja, which will act as a political platform for Mehri’s future pro-cannabis activism.

The shop is unlikely to be his last attempt to create a social platform for cannabis users, however.

“We need a place like this. It’s like a social club for the old youth. There’s no hidden agenda or criminal mastermind,” Mehri says, before adding thoughtfully: “Besides, it’s f***ing cold outside.”


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BigDanHaze
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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by BigDanHaze » Mon 4th Feb 2013 05:17 am

The movement is moving more and more rapidly, soon legal most everywhere. Only thing makes me sad is Amsterdam will no longer be unique soon....Always the memories though....the many memories :D

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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by worldcitizen1723 » Mon 4th Feb 2013 05:32 am

BigDanHaze wrote:The movement is moving more and more rapidly, soon legal most everywhere. Only thing makes me sad is Amsterdam will no longer be unique soon....Always the memories though....the many memories :D

Amsterdam will always be unique!
Pot is not all the city has to offer.

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Re: Police Shut Down First Cannabis Coffeeshop In Denmark

Post by treetop » Mon 4th Feb 2013 07:29 am

Reading this article made me sad and angry in turn. Police are allowed to batter down doors and pepper spray people trying to have a smoke in the warm?
That does not sound very civilized. The policeman in question will probably get 2 months paid leave while they decide not to punish him.

All for a few grams of cannabis. :x
How much did you produce?

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