A ‘united front’ has been formed to organise a ‘Cannabis Education March and Rally’ in Central London on Sunday 15th May 2005.
This ’emergency response’ comes in the wake of the canceling of this years cannabis festival in Brixton, as well as recent electioneering threats from both the government and opposition parties to return cannabis to ‘Class B’. In the government’s case this makes a mockery of their election slogan ‘Forwards Not Backwards’.
A ‘Cannabis Education March and Rally’ is therefore being planned for a ‘leading central London venue’ by a ‘united front’ of cannabis activists and organisations from all over the country.
The event, organised by the newly formed ‘Cannabis Trust’ (otherwise known as the ‘Cannabis Education Research Trust (CERT)’), is being backed by all the main cannabis campaigning organizations, groups, and publications in Britain.
The march and rally in London will be part of a ‘global cannabis action’ event in May, which has happened annually since 1999. This year there are cannabis related actions happening in over 200 cities. There are also plans to bring back the cannabis festival aspect of the event next year.
The Cannabis Trust web site is at http://www.cannabistrust.com, and has details about the proposed event on May 15th, plus an updated listing of confirmed speakers and supporting organisations. A large amount of information about cannabis is also available via the site.
Andy Cornwell, Cannabis Trust coordinator said, “We need the combined, united support of everyone who supports a educated and rational approach to the cannabis issue, to help make this event really count.”
The event seeks to present information about cannabis use and prohibition, from many points of view and expertise.
Organisers are calling for a “new deal for cannabis” and say that cannabis prohibition is putting public health at risk, as well as costing a fortune, estimated at nearly 1 billion a year.
An organiser said “Cannabis prohibition is the most expensive mistake in British legal history”.
“We have to ask ‘How safe is cannabis?, but we also have to ask “How dangerous is cannabis prohibition?”.
To this end expert speakers have been invited to talk on a variety of topics including ‘skunk’, cannabis harm reduction, medical cannabis, mental health and cannabis, ‘amotivation’, nutrition, and the science of cannabis.
Other issues to be covered include the cost of prohibition, drug testing at work and school, driving under the influence, and sniffer dogs.
Growers, campaigners, political and spiritual representatives as well as musicians, poets and comedians are also being invited to speak, plus individuals from many walks of life.
Political speakers invited include representatives from all the main parties, plus the Legalise Cannabis Alliance which has 25 candidates standing in the upcoming general election, and several speakers from the Green Party.
A ‘People’s Commission of Inquiry on Cannabis’ will also be launched at the rally on May 15th, to collect and publish evidence about cannabis and its social, medical and industrial use.
The same evidence will be presented to the governments planned ‘Commission of Inquiry into the Effects and Classification of Cannabis’, announced in their ‘Drugs Bill’ which is currently going through Parliament.
Organisers say the information will be given to the Government Commission of Inquiry as evidence for their consideration, “to research the research, and ensure they do not miss anything”. It will also be independently published. All interested parties are invited to contribute and should email [email protected]
At the moment, although there has been some premature unauthorised publicity, the march route and rally venue are not officially confirmed, and cannot be announced until negotiations with the relevant authorities have been finalized.
Organisers say no problems have so far arisen with the authorities, but a number of details have to be completed, including insurance, stewarding plans and other issues, before the official go ahead can be given, and the planned venues can be made public.
They appeal to anyone who wants to get involved in any way, especially anyone with stewarding experience, to get in touch via their website.
More information about the ‘Cannabis Education March and Rally’ on Sunday May 15, plus updates on confirmed speakers and supporting organisations is available on the Cannabis Trust web site at www.cannabistrust.com