21 Apr Horrible Pictures From Hyde Park Cause Dreadful Damage To Cannabis Campaign
Yesterday, the annual Hyde Park 420 event took place. 420 is an American term for cannabis and these events take place all over the world on 20th April. Why? For very obscure and esoteric reasons! They are variously described as celebrations of cannabis or protests for legalisation. Yesterday in Hyde Park was a disaster.
Violent arrests, open dealing of cannabis, hash cookies decorated to appeal to children – these are terrible images that will cause immense harm to the way that cannabis and cannabis users are seen. CLEAR will not be publishing any of these pictures.
It matters not that these arrests were fundamentally unjust. The police officers concerned were only doing their job. The Daily Telegraph and other media are ramping up hysteria over two deaths in Colorado associated with ‘edibles’; so cannabis cookies in kids style was a spectacular own goal. Close-ups of bags of weed being sold alongside the names of the organisers is not just stupid, it is crazy.
We will never win the support of the public by behaving this way. Inevitably, of the hundreds there, many seemed barely out of their teens. The images and messages this sends through the media and to our political leaders are destructive of all the positive work that is being done towards reform. These demos, protests, ‘smoke ups’ and ‘smoke outs’ have never had any positive effect so what makes anyone think they will now?
I know that many involved with the organisers are sincere but if I wanted to plan how to subvert and undermine the campaign, yesterday in Hyde Park would be a good model.
We have MPs, opinion leaders and powerful people on our side but unsurprisingly they will not be associated with such events. Let’s move on and put this as far behind us as we can. The key to winning this war is to demonstrate that we can behave responsibily, to win hearts and minds which have been subject to propaganda for nearly a century. Reform in the US has been achieved despite, not because of such events.
So what can you do? Write to your MP, arrange to meet your MP, ask your MP to arrange a meeting with a minister. This is what works. This is what is actually making progress. Let’s not mess it up.