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The cannabis Legislation is crumbling - 25kilos - suspended

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:20 pm    Post subject: The cannabis Legislation is crumbling - 25kilos - suspended Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

Tony Taylor stays free

Tony Taylor, 53, of Tony's holistic Centre, the
renowned cannabis dispensary in Caledonian Road
remains free today after receiving a suspended
sentence in respect of charges pertaining to the
importation of some 25kg of cannabis through Luton
airport on two dates early this year.

On February 9th, Mr Taylor was stopped while going
through the green Customs channel at Luton airport and
found to have packages of cannabis in his luggage, to
a total weight of 20.5kg (which the prosecution
estimated to have a 'street value' of £38,000). He was
arrested, charged and his travel documents

A month later, on March 9, an employee of Tony's, Mary
Po Lee, was intercepted by Customs Officers at Luton
airport with 5.03kg of cannabis (which the prosecution
said was worth £15,000). Upon arrest, Mary immediately
produced a letter from Tony, stating that Mary was
working for him and the cannabis she was carrying was
his, intended for distribution to his patients (who
now number over 700; some say as many as 800).

At the trial on October 13th, Tony's defence team
tried to argue that his actions were due to
'circumstantial duress', i.e.: that the cannabis
available locally, in Kings Cross, is of inferior
and/or unverifiable quality and may contain harmful
impurities. Whereas this stuff from Switzerland is
organically grown. This might have worked before a
jury, but jurisdiction was denied and the judge ruled
that a defence of necessity was inadmissable in this
case. So Tony and Mary changed their pleas to guilty.

If Tony was disappointed by the turn out for his
sentencing on November 3rd, there were still enough
people to pack the public seats and more had to be
brought in, which Tony's barrister assured us will
have impressed hizzoner. The brief reminded the judge
that his defence counsel had been advised by eminent
QCs that Tony did have a defence and that he had
pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, when his
honour ruled that he didn't.

The judge said a custodial sentence was inevitable,
but it might be suspended in consideration of the
evidence that (1) Tony is not a drug dealer in the
conventional mould, i.e.: he's not in it for the
money; (2) this his clinic exists and he's
demonstrably helping some people - "he's provides a
wholly unique service, your honour", interjected
Tony's brief; (3) and he's got no relevant previous
convictions. Nevertheless, Tony had gone into the
enterprise with his eyes open, so he's hardly

The Queen wanted £13,000 costs and Tony said he could
pay £100 per week from the income from the health food
shop downstairs. The judge awarded £7,500 at the rate
Mr Taylor offered, then sentenced him to eighteen
months for the first charge and six for the second,
the two to run concurrently, both suspended for two
years. He sentenced Mary to 100 hours community

'Community punishment', eh? Presumably the old
fashioned 'community service' didn't sound
sufficiently vengeful. 'Service' lacks that rancorous
ring. As the judge tacitly acknowledged by recognising
the legitimacy of Tony's 'clinic', Mr Taylor is
already performing an invaluable service for the
community and he's free to continue, so long as he
doesn't get caught smuggling weed over the next couple
of years. Which begs the question of where he's going
to get his cannabis from?
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