UNITED KINGDOM: Birmingham Cannabis Club is planning to hold a demo in the city’s Cannon Hill to campaign for cannabis to be legalized.
The group says it is prepared to flout the law and smoke the banned drug in front of police.
Here are the arguments for and against the legalization of cannabis.
The Cannon Hill Park event is being promoted by UK Cannabis Social Clubs.
Its president, Greg de Hoedt, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, said: “Birmingham Cannabis Club and West Midlands Cannabis Community invite you to attend a gathering to protest the current unjust laws that criminalize people for choosing cannabis over more harmful, yet legally available, drugs like alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical drugs.
“Birmingham is one of the biggest cities in the UK and is always the centre of attention for cannabis news.
“It is speculated that at least one house in every three streets has a cannabis grow.
“West Midlands Police also have a dedicated Cannabis Disposal Team that mainly go after the commercial cash croppers and gangs.
“Still, if prohibition wasn’t the current policy the gangs wouldn’t be growing it as the price wouldn’t be as high as it is now.”
The group further claim that legalizing cannabis would mean children could not access it from street dealers, and be tempted by the range of other illegal drugs they may sell.
Cannon Hill Park Protest organiser Matt Towers said: “I’m not going to say that is harmless.
“I have no doubt that there are certain people who would be better off not smoking it, in the same way that there are people out there who are better off not eating nuts because they are allergic to them. It doesn’t mean nuts should be made illegal.
“Most of the anti-cannabis people go on about how it damages mental health, but there is plenty of research showing it can actually be beneficial for Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, anxiety and more.
“I lost my mother to cancer nine years ago and some of the evidence that is coming forward now shows that THC and some of the other compounds of cannabis can actively help destroy the cancerous cells.
“These kind of events have been going on throughout the year and will continue to do so.”
The NHS has issued several warnings about health risks linked to cannabis use.
These include dependency problems, mental heath problems and lung damage, further cautions are.
* Even hardcore smokers can become anxious, panicky, suspicious or paranoid.
* It affects co-ordination. Drug-driving is illegal.
* The drug has lots of chemical ‘nasties’, which can cause lung disease and possibly cancer with long term or heavy use.
* Cannabis increases the heart rate and can affect blood pressure.
* It can cause paranoia in the short term, and in those with a pre-existing psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, it can contribute to relapse.
* Strong herbal cannabis (also known as skunk) can cause more powerful dangerous affects.
Teenage learner driver Stephen Gibbs took cannabis only hours before he was involved in a crash which left his mother dead.
The 17 year-old lost control of his Ford Fiesta in Cambridgeshire and hit an oncoming car killing his mum Sarah, aged 35, who was a passenger in the front seat.
PC Peter Bimson told an inquest into her death last month that he believed that the use of cannabis by Stephen had been a factor in the cause of the collision.