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.
|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.