Pubdate: Sat, 06 May 2000
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Copyright: 2000 BBC
Cited: International Cannabis Coalition:


Pro-Cannabis Marchers Put On A Colourful Spectacle

Campaigners calling for the legalisation of cannabis have marched
through London.

More than 4,000 people - some in bright fancy dress, and many wearing
home-made masks shaped like cannabis leaves - made the most of bright
sunshine at the colourful End the Prohibition March organised by the
International Cannabis Coalition (ICC).

In a carnival atmosphere, the marchers peacefully danced and sang
their way along a 2.5 mile route from Kennington Park, south London,
to a free festival at nearby Brockwell Park.

Similar events were taking place at venues around the world to try to
help lift the ban on the class B drug.

"The cannabis laws are old and should be lifted," said Thor Halland of
the ICC.

"A lot of people enjoy cannabis and there is no reason for them to be
stopped by the law.

"Today is also just a great big party so that everyone can enjoy
themselves, enjoy the sunshine and to get that message across to the

The penalties in Britain for cannabis possession are among the
harshest in Europe.

Each year about 70,000 people face a potential prison sentence for
possessing cannabis, ecstasy or LSD.

Earlier this week the ICC delivered a dossier to Downing Street
outlining its arguments about why the ban should be lifted.

Newly elected London Mayor Ken Livingstone has said he would treat
drug crimes as one of his priorities during his term of office.

Police said the march was good-natured and trouble-free. 
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