Thousands converged on Hyde park throughout Wednesday to celebrate World Weed Day.
Police made 23 arrests for cannabis related offences. The day went by peacefully as protesters against the criminalization of marijuana enjoyed a day of sunshine under a cloud of haze.
The annual event is organised by the campaign group Norml-UK, who describe themselves as “a non-partisan organisation seeking to reform British cannabis laws and to gain recognition for the rights of cannabis consumers in the UK”.
One Twitter user posted a picture of a sniffer dog, saying he had seen the animal “catch two people with drugs in five minutes” at the event.
But today a Met Police spokesperson told London24 just 23 arrests were made at the entire Hyde Park rally.
She said: “One person was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A substance, 19 were arrested for posseession of cannabis, and three people were arrrested for robbery.”
— BigNarstie BDL (@bignarstie) April 20, 2016
Many people took to social media to post pictures and videos of the large, relaxed crowd.
One attendee noted that the Green Party were there “handing out leaflets”.
Lee Harris, London mayoral candidate for The Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol party (Cista), has attended the rally many times over the past 30 years.
Forgot it was #420 until I walked home through Hyde Park & saw a Leeds uni marijuana club & a haze over everyone LOL pic.twitter.com/Px9FzozRv5
— Jodie Smith (@j0diesmith) April 20, 2016
Lee told London Live he believes change in the law is likely.
He said: “There has been a paradigm shift in public opinion and not just in this country.
“I think things are going to happen. We have many of the police forces on our side who think prohibition did not work.
“The war on drugs was an utter failure and caused so much harm in our society. “Cannabis should be regulated, legalised and taxed.”
Green Party handing out leaflets at #420 in Hyde Park 😏pic.twitter.com/nTk7vm246s
— Christopher Hooton (@ChristophHooton) April 20, 2016
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