Councillor's fury at
By James HoreA SENIOR politician has demanded action from Colchester Borough Council after claiming a 13-year-old was able to buy cannabis seeds from a local authority-licensed market stall.
By James Hore
A SENIOR politician has demanded action from Colchester Borough Council after claiming a 13-year-old was able to buy cannabis seeds from a local authority-licensed market stall.
Tim Young, the Labour group leader on the council, carried out the test to see how easy it was for a youngster to obtain the seeds - which are legal for anyone to buy, but against the law if cultivated.
He claimed the teenager bought five seeds for £10 from the Culture Stir stall, based in the town's Trinity Square.
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Colchester Borough Council is a member of the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, which is opposed to drug use and gives support to the North East Essex Drugs Advisory Service.
Culture Stir describes itself as stocking “Bizarre Head Supplies” and is decorated with cannabis leaf motifs and stocks a range of products, all within the law.
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Mr Young has branded the council “hypocritical” for allowing the stall to trade and has demanded it quickly addressed the issue.
“I have informed Colchester police and the councillors and would hope they are as concerned about it as I am,” he said.
Mr Young also called for Culture Stir's licence to be reviewed by officers before it was renewed again.
Culture Stir stallholder, David Beard, said he checked the identity of everyone who tried to buy goods from the stall and who did not appear to be 16, even though he was not required to do so by law.
He added: “The cannabis seeds are not illegal to sell, but we now keep them under the counter. If we did sell things to young people, it's not intentional, but was not illegal.
“I was expecting this from Mr Young, but I won't keep responding to him. I am going to get a letter from the Home Office saying I have nothing illegal.”
Colchester police said they had investigated the stall and were happy it was not breaking the law.
Chief Superintendent Dave Murthwaite, of Colchester police, added: “We have looked into it. The issue was raised and we investigated and were happy at the time that there were no offences being committed and that is what we have got to abide by.”