Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Cannabis Protests - should they smoke in public?

This morning I listened to an excellent interview with Clark French of NORML UK and the Berkshire Cannabis Community, on BBC Radio Berkshire. 

I think Clark did an excellent interview and made some powerful points.(listen here - about 2 hours and 5 mins from the start - move the slder pop up below the video)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01cwt0mClark also stepped up to the line by putting himself at risk, to some extent, by admitting his use of cannabis to ease his suffering from MS.

But Clark went further than that by announcing a public protest  see https://www.facebook.com/events/593588457357865/?fref=ts  on Sept 7th in Reading, UK.

Personally I congradulate Clark and hope that many people will turn up to support the gathering - of course some cannot or will not, especially if police are going to be there.  On rthe other hand others want apolice and press presence.

Regarding publicity for the gatherings, well it depends on the purpose of the gathering - whether to simply meet up and have a smoke (which may best be done in a more private venue) OR to openly defy and challenge the law or BOTH

.In the past most Smokey Bear Picnics, protests, marches etc included public toking, often in the presence of the, thousands marching through London, cannabis festivals, gatherings in Trafalgar Square, and many smaller gatherings in the open in places like Southsea, Hull, Norwich, Chemslford ... I remember in Southsea one year there would be police arrested a few smokers; the next there would be no arrests, then there would be arrests the year after.  The authorities just did not know what to do.

 In Norwich in a central park we sat on the grass and toked, and police just walked pst, about 70 t0 100 of us.  Even after it was on the front page of the local press in advance, police did nothing.  We caused no problems.

Some people may think it depends on numbers prseent at the event - the more there are the less police presence.

 But history does not suggest that - and think about how many police would turn up if there were an equivalent number of alcohol drinkers.

Then there were turn-yourself-in days (I would never do that because I did not feel I had anything to turn-myself in for). 

In London Free Rob Cannabis and Howard Marks, just the two of them, tried to turn themselves in.  One year they were locked out of the police station.  In Norwich Lewi Rodrigues tried to turn himself in but they would not take him to court.

When THC4MS was busted, over 75 people in the old LCA signed statements saying that if THC4MS were guilty of conspiracy to supply, then so were we, sent it to the Carlisle police and press.  Nothing happened.  THC4MS three were given suspended sntences for supplying 36,000 bars of cannabis chocolate through the post without profit.

When Pinky started his protests, he was worried out people getting busted, so he wanted toking to be discreet - trouble was that so few  protestsersturned up.I do understand that those that grow or have jobs or family circumatsnaces that they want to protect, refrain from such open and public chllenges to the law, but I also greatly ADMIRE those that are prepared to try to defeat prohibition in this way - arrests for small amounts, court cases, all cost money - a waste of taxpayers money, and even without any change in law we can use that to push for greater tolerance - where there is no threat or not harm there should be no such arrests.

Each to his or her own - so long as we each put in some effort in some way, I think the battle can be on many fronts.



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