30,000 Attend Cannabis Festival 

30,000 Attend Cannabis Festival 
Posted by FoM on June 16, 2001 at 19:46:03 PT
From Ananova 
Source: Guardian Unlimited
An estimated 30,000 people have braved heavy rain to attend a festival celebrating cannabis. The event started with around 10,000 anti-prohibition campaigners marching from Kennington, south London, to nearby Brockwell Park in Brixton where the Cannabis Freedom Festival was held. Police in the area will next month give only a formal warning to people found with a small amount of the drug. 
Organisers of the festival said there were no arrests during the day and that policing had been "very low-key", in keeping with the radical scheme due to be introduced on July 2. A spokesman for the International Cannabis Coalition said: "Given the atrocious weather, we were really encouraged by the turnout. It reflects the wide support for ending cannabis prohibition in this country." From next month, police in Brixton - one of the country's foremost illegal drugs markets - will issue an on-the-spot warning and confiscate the drugs but the matter will go no further. They say it will enable them to target their resources on the fight against harder drugs such as crack cocaine. If successful the scheme could be extended to the entire Metropolitan Police area. Police chiefs believe the new approach could take 10 minutes of a constable's time instead of up to 10 hours if the person is arrested, taken to a police station and formally cautioned. The country's most senior police officer, Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens, has backed the plan, describing it as "an innovative step." He said: "We are not turning a blind eye to crime but we have to prioritise." Source: Guardian Unlimited, The (UK)Published: Sunday June 17, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Guardian Newspapers LimitedContact: letters Report: Drugs in Britain Cannabis Coalition - Cannabis Archives
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Comment #5 posted by Mawi on June 17, 2001 at 16:30:07 PT:
I was at the march on saturday and i gotta say even with the bad weather everyone had a wicked was good to see do many people come out and brave the to protest and have a great day outrespect to all those that attended 
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on June 17, 2001 at 03:36:43 PT
Pownal could learn
 It seems as though common sense is prevalent in every "free" country except the U.S. When will we get a clue as to how ludicrous our drug policies are? We're just too consumed by our own mindless consumption. We should be leading this movement. How sad for us, but good for Britain. 
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Comment #3 posted by sm247 on June 16, 2001 at 23:51:36 PT
Right on
Geeeeeeeee would somebody call them people in maine and tell em to read this. Now this is free assembly. 
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Comment #2 posted by Dan Hillman on June 16, 2001 at 22:21:48 PT
Go Britain!
As I said in another post, my hopeful prediction is that Britain will be the next place that the drug war faces a major setback.  With events like this my hope is growing!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 16, 2001 at 19:59:07 PT
News Brief From The Associated Press
Thousands Rally for Legalization of Cannabis Source: Associated Press Published: Saturday, June 16, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Associated Press  Braving torrential rain, thousands gathered in a park in London on Saturday to call for the legalization of marijuana. Organizers estimated that 30,000 people attended the Cannabis Freedom Festival in the Brixton area of south London. Participants heard speeches calling for the decriminalization of cannabis, listened to bands from Europe, Africa and Brazil, absorbed the verses of "poets for pot" and browsed stalls offering hemp ice cream, hemp clothing and a cookbook entitled "Cooking with Ganja." There were no reports of arrests. "We're very pleased with the turnout," festival coordinator Andy Cornwell said. "There's growing support from all walks of life." On Friday, police said they would no longer charge people found in possession of a small amount of marijuana in the south London district where the rally took place. Scotland Yard said officers would release users with a warning, rather than taking them to a station to be charged, so police could concentrate on arresting crack cocaine dealers and violent offenders in the high-crime area. If the pilot program is successful it may be expanded to other areas of London, Scotland Yard said. 
Freedom To Exhale
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