Ten Thousand Defy British Pot Laws to Fire Up in London’s Hyde Park

On a cool spring afternoon, on the edge of a crowd numbering several thousand in a London park, Derek Stratts, 27, shared bags of cannabis from a jar with his two friends.

“Personally, I come here to smoke,” said Stratts, a trained accountant who asked for his real name not to be used. “I’m not, I’ll be real with you, really here for the movement, I’m more for being able to actually come out and to Hyde Park, of all places, and smoke a spliff with no aggravation.”

Yet amid the clouds of pungent smoke surrounding Speaker’s Corner on Sunday, at least one man was led away by police, to a chorus of jeers from the thousands of cannabis smokers attending the annual 4/20 gathering. The event, named after the American date convention, is an annual global festival of cannabis on or near 20 April.

“Last year 100 countries took part in 4/20 celebrations, this year it’s supposed to be 126,” said Stuart Harper of Norml UK, a pro-legalization group that hosts the event. “The celebration we have here in Hyde Park, which is about 10,000 people, is the largest in the UK.”

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.