Somewhere in the provincial backwater of a south-coast seaside town, Harry and Doris are pottering around in the garden of their prefabricated bungalow. Only close inspection reveals that the green crop these two OAPs are harvesting is cannabis. They are fulfilling the vision of Jimmy Ward, the owner of one of the first "Dutch-style" cannabis cafes to open in the UK, the Dutch Experience II. According to Jimmy, his cafe will alleviate the poverty of local pensioners such as Harry and Doris.
The entrepreneur has supplied all the necessary paraphernalia for cultivation to four elderly couples who contacted him through his website. The financial benefits for hard-up pensioners are enormous. According to the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit, a crop of 1kg of skunk, at 2000 prices, would be worth £2,896.66. There are now 5.1 million regular users of the drug in the UK, and the biggest growth area for cannabis use is among those about to celebrate their 50th birthday. With two crops or more easily achievable each year, cannabis cultivation could boost an OAP's income by £6,000 a year.
Even though business is booming, a new threat looms. Jimmy's landlord is going through the courts to try to prove that Jimmy and co are squatters. Their Waterloo is on 6 May. Still, Jimmy maintains that even if he is evicted, the prospects for his cafe are good. With the legalisation of cannabis ever more likely, he says, his enterprise will soon be the rule and every small town will have its own Harry and Doris, toiling the earth so we can get some grade-A skunk.