Police have confirmed they will monitor an event that will see more than 100 Exeter campaigners smoking cannabis in a playing field this weekend.
But officers said that, while all participants taking part will be breaking the law, they recognised the protester’s right for a peaceful protest.
The Devon branch of The United Kingdom Cannabis Social Club are organising the public 'smoke out’ to “raise awareness of the benefits of cannabis and to address the bias and misinformation so often seen in the mainstream media.”
The event, which according to its Facebook page, is likely to have more 100 people attending, is this Saturday at Flowerpots Playing Fields.
One of the organisers, Daryl Sullivan, said the event is designed to show the ‘absurdity’ of the drugs illegal status.
He said: “These are gatherings where people get together and openly smoke cannabis to prove that it can be done sensibly and without harm to anyone, and to show the absurdity of its illegal status.
“We also provide leaflets and information regarding cannabis, the harms of prohibition and why we believe a legal, regulated system would take away many of the problems we see now.”
The ‘smoke out’ will start at 1pm and run until around 6pm with anyone who “believes that prohibition of cannabis does not work and causes more damage than cannabis ever could” invited to attend.
Police said that enforcement action would be taken if anyone is suspected of supplying cannabis, if children are around or if objections are received from members of the public.
But Insp Julian Pezzani, who is charge of neighbourhood policing in Exeter, said: “The police in Exeter are aware of the proposed planned event for the weekend and fully respect the right to peaceful protest.
“Possession of cannabis is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act and we will be looking to engage with organisers at an early stage around their intentions.”
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