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Qtec
06-11-2004, 04:33 AM
Tomorrow in Portugal sees the start of the EK 2004.[ soccer]
Noticed this in the news.



It's OK to smoke dope, England fans told

Paul Kelso in Lisbon
Friday June 11, 2004

The Guardian

Portuguese police officers will turn a blind eye to England supporters who openly smoke cannabis during Euro 2004, having decided that a stoned crowd is easier to control than a drunk one.
Lisbon police confirmed yesterday that England fans will not be arrested for puffing on joints on the streets of the Portuguese capital, following a recommendation from the Dutch authorities responsible for policing the English during Euro 2000.

Four years ago England's match in Eindhoven, ironically against Portugal, passed off peacefully as many supporters took advantage of the Netherlands' liberal drugs laws. By contrast the game against Germany in the Belgian town of Charleroi was marred by violence, much of it fuelled by alcohol. Portugal has similarly relaxed legislation to the Dutch and the authorities hope it will help them police the 50,000 supporters expected to arrive in the country in the next few days.

Possession of small amounts of cannabis is not illegal in Portugal but, technically, consumption is. However, having liaised with the Dutch, police will not act except in extreme circumstances.

Isabel Canelas, a spokeswoman for the Portuguese police, said cannabis would be a low priority during the tournament. "Everyone knows that here everyone can smoke. The police are doing another kind of job and their priorities are different.

"We won't be hiding behind doors waiting for someone to smoke a joint. We have to use common sense. If people are smoking but not kicking each other, not beating each other, and not making a problem, why on earth would an officer go and ask 'Is that cannabis?'

"If you are quietly smoking and a police officer is 10 metres away, what's the big risk in your behaviour? I'm not going to tap you on the shoulder and ask 'What are you smoking?' if you are posing no menace to others. Our priority is alcohol.

"Of course, if people cause a problem through using drugs and become a menace to others, police will be expected to take action. It would be totally different when a police officer realises there's someone trying to sell."

Visitors to Lisbon do not have to try too hard to buy the drug. The city does not have "coffee shops" in the Dutch style, but tourists are likely to be offered cannabis by street vendors.

Organisers have not restricted the amount of alcohol on sale during the tournament despite the Football Association's concerns. Beer costs just 66p a glass and will be freely available around stadiums and at big screen locations.

Eindhoven police spokesman Johann Beelan said cannabis was a positive influence on public order at Euro 2000. "Cannabis ... was part of the conditions which meant everyone had a good time," he said. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

British police estimated around 3,000 English supporters had arrived in Portugal by last night, but there have been no reports of disorder and no arrests.

Hup Holland. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Q

eg8r
06-11-2004, 05:19 AM
This marks the first time in soccer history that the concession stands will be selling brownies and snack munchies. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

highsea
06-11-2004, 08:47 AM
I like that, "street vendors" lol.

Sounds like a good policy to me, I think soccer needs more stoner fans anyway. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

-CM