11 June 2004

It's OK to smoke dope, England fans told

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.

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.

The Lisbon police will follow the Dutch example and concentrate on actual crimes, rather than cannabis. I am sure this is sending the wrong signal to the terrorists.

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