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UK: Thousands of cannabis smokers defy police to light joints in London's Hyde Park for massive promarijuana rally
Thursday 20 Apr 2017
Thousands of cannabis smokers gathered in London's Hyde Park to defy police and light up joints.
Despite warnings not to smoke drugs in the park, pot enthusiasts descended in their thousands for the annual pro-marijuana rally.
The smokey protest is held each year on April 20 because the date is 4.20, which smokers also claim is the 'perfect' time to spark up a joint.
The activists are calling on the Government to legalise the Class B drug and risked arrest by using the illegal drug at the event.
Construction worker James Adams, 24, came straight from work and was still wearing his hi-vis jacket.
He said: "I'm here to smoke a bit of bud. It's nice bud here.
"It's all about love and peace. Everyone's happy. Once people start fighting then you can say it's bad but it's not.
"It's calm, cool, relaxed. Everyone's in a good vibe.
"It's so different compared to other drugs. If everyone was taking coke there would have to be a stage and pumping music and people would be here until the morning."
His friend, Yusuf Mohammed, 28, also in the construction work, said: "I don't smoke anymore but I'm here. It's love and peace and I wanted to come and see it.
"This is the first time we've come to the event. We've had some laughs and met some nice people. I might have one while I'm here."
A 19-year-old politics student from the University of Aston also went to the event but didn't want to be named.
He said: "It's a nice day. I'm on my fifth joint. I like weed because it's a form of relaxing."
The west London resident was amazed with how many people showed up for the rally.
He said: "Last year it got a lot of publicising and this year it's really big. We've been here an hour and I'd say 3,000 people have walked by.
"It's a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere."
Before the huge celebration of cannabis culture, the Met Police tweeted: "A reminder for those attending the rally at #HydePark today, officers will be enforcing drugs legislation #420."
But that didn't stop thousands of people gathering to enjoy the day.
Peter, a 28-year-old concierge, said: "It's just a celebration of the plant that I enjoy. It's nice to see this many people getting together in one place and celebrating one thing.
"I don't think it would do much harm if it were legalised. It does way more good than harm in the States and so many people here smoke it anyways you might as well.
"The attitude towards weed is relaxed here."
Similar rallies have been held today across the world to support cannabis de-criminalisation.
The event's organiser in London, Eric Shepperd, told the London Free Press: "It's not just dirty hippies that smoke marijuana.
"It's older people, it's business people, it's academics - all sorts of people use cannabis in a responsible and active way."
He added: "People can just experience what people who use cannabis are like."
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