Greens' drugs tsar takes brief too far ... and is jailed for possession

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Indy Politics

Rarely can the term "conviction politician" have been more apt than yesterday when the Green Party found itself defending a felon - its national spokesman on drugs has been jailed for growing cannabis.

In an unusual example of a politician practising what he preaches, Shane Collins was enjoying his fourth night at Her Majesty's prison in Brixton yesterday after police found 19 cannabis plants growing in a basement at his home in Lambeth, south London. He was sentenced to six weeks.

Collins, 41, has been the party's drugs tsar for six years, calling for the "possession, trade and cultivation" of cannabis to be decriminalised and for drug "pubs" to be set up.

The party says the conviction shows the drugs law needs to change. Collins plans to appeal against the sentence.