Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate 'green' on city green

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club's annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city's council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

Setting up the stalls, with the river Clyde and Adelphi distillery as a backdrop
Image: Brian McNeil.
Good weather, albeit tempered with a cool breeze, saw higher numbers than the prior year's event
Image: Brian McNeil.
Glasgow Green, in the East End is the city's oldest park
Image: Brian McNeil.
A speaker from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) explained his organisation's position on cannabis
Image: Brian McNeil.
Police were in-attendance from early-on, with Monday's issue of the Daily Record reporting five arrests, but no trouble
Image: Iain Macdonald.
A section of the crowd, with the People's Palace in the background
Image: Iain Macdonald.
One of the bands setting up to entertain the crowd
Image: Iain Macdonald.
A neon-bright sign for the Glasgow branch of the UK Cannabis Social Club
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Small stall, with obvious pro-cannabis signage
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Home-made sign for the Legalise Cannabis Campaign Scotland
Image: Iain Macdonald.
View of stage from partway up the hill
Image: Iain Macdonald.
People buying refreshments from the stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Several attendees wore clothing with slogans openly advocating cannabis
Image: Iain Macdonald.
A view of the tents over the stage and stalls from across the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Attendees watch the stage entertainment while police look on
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Small groups of attendees regularly walked away from watchful police once it was made clear people would be arrested and cautioned for smoking
Image: Iain Macdonald.
View of the stage area from opposite bank of the Clyde
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Trumpet player in one of the Reggae bands that performed
Image: Iain Macdonald.
A small stand offered hydroponic supplies
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Clear view of the hemp products stall
Image: Iain Macdonald.
Close-up of some hemp-based products on sale
Image: Iain Macdonald.

The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow's Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

"I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)" one attendee noted online, adding "not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!" A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who "were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young".

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar '420' pro-cannabis events were held globally.

Sources

Wikinews
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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
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