A local politician has appealed to police not to shut down his shop where pot smokers would smoke illegal drugs.

Kent could get its first cannabis café if Green party councillor Ian Driver has his way.

A public meeting is due to take place in the Isle of Thanet, home of Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs, to discuss the plan. According to organisers, more than 100 people were expected to attend.

Under his scheme, the cafe in Thanet would not sell cannabis, unlike the US state of Colorado which allowed the open sale of marijuana in January, but would act as a meeting place for people wishing to get high in public on their own supply.

Driver said: "It makes eminent sense to have a nice, relaxing atmosphere where cannabis users, for recreational or medicinal purposes, can get together and enjoy themselves just as other people go out for a drink."

But Kent Police look unlikely to enter the hippie spirit by turning a blind eye. A spokesman said: "Our role is to enforce the law which states that cannabis is a Class B controlled drug."

Driver, who used to smoke cannabis but said he no longer did, told the Kent Messenger: "Whatever anyone's criticism, the legalisation of cannabis is a win-win for everybody."

Driver predicted cannabis cafes would be a regular feature of high steets up and down the country within a decade.

"Decriminalisation and legalisation will save an awful lot of money in policing and will generate considerable tax income and create jobs.

"It will also drive out criminal gangs from the drugs industry and put an end to people getting records for victimless crime."