Gary Youds from Liverpool, was recently sentenced to nine months in prison after his venue The Chillin’ Rooms was raided and cannabis seized back in 2015. #FreeGaryYouds
The arbitrary nature of the UK’s approach to cannabis is highlighted painfully by the fact that across the pond in the US, and in several European countries their approach to the drug both medicinally and recreationally is improving and an ever increasing rate.
Yet here we continue to see people arrested for victimless crimes as they attempt to provide safe access for cannabis users.
“The home office quoting that cannabis is harmful and dangerous, every time anyone asks, to me seems to be hiding behind the Orwellian term Double talk”
Liverpool Echo reports: “Gary Youds, who told a judge he had a painful and incurable illness and smoked the drug for relief, was given a nine month prison sentence after the Chillin’ Rooms, on Holt Road in Kensington, was raided and £11,000 of cannabis recovered.
Gary Youds first applied to Liverpool council to convert a former taxi office into a “private members club” for smokers in 2002. When councillors rejected his plans for the Tea Cafe in Holt Road, Kensington, he went ahead and set it up anyway. He was handed a conditional discharge for allowing the The Chillin’ Rooms cafe to be used for smoking cannabis in 2005. Youds ignored the punishment and was locked up for 12 months in 2006 after continuing to run the cafe and growing a crop at home.”
Gary is a medical cannabis user who gets great pain relief from smoking, which he will not have access to for the duration of his time at her Majesty’s pleasure.
Reading Gary’s situation, it is clear that he is somebody who wants progressive cannabis reform, and it is a real shame to see him put in prison for standing up to our unjust drugs laws. Youd’s lawyer also stated that he is “a very polite man” and not someone who was “living the high life”.
Brian Conlon who leased the property where the Chillin’ Rooms was located and managed the cafe with Gary says: “Please go to the link in which you will find a video containing photos that were used against both Gary Weevil Youds and myself, make what you will from it, only our members will know the truth about what we tried to achieve, many thanks to all who came to any of the nights we held, many thanks to the non cannabis users who used to bring those who couldn’t get their under their own steam to visit the venue, and a massive thanks to all who participated in the music the vibe and the scene.”
Brian fortunately avoided prison time as he had no previous convictions and told the judge he used cannabis medicinally.
We spoke to Winston Matthews, who is no stranger to frequent brushes with the law over cannabis, having spent time in prison himself for growing a few plants:
“The home office quoting that cannabis is harmful and dangerous, every time anyone asks, to me seems to be hiding behind the Orwellian term Double talk, with good people such as Gary Youds being incarcerated for running small family style Dutch cafes, is so disgusting, we need the truth being told about cannabis, #FreeGaryYouds”
So, where does this leave us, and more importantly Gary Youds who will spend the next three-quarters of a year in pain and behind bars over a plant?
We want the UK Cannabis community to stand behind Gary and support him both now and after he is released.
In the meantime, we will keep campaigning for cannabis legalisation and hopefully, sometime soon Gary and others like him can be pardoned and compensated.
If you would like to contact, write or send some money to Gary while he is serving his unjust sentence, then his contact details are as follows:
68 HORNBY ROAD
You can also use the hashtag #FreeGaryYouds to show your support for Gary across the web, and we will bring you more info as we have it.