A mass cannabis celebration for hundreds of campaigners calling for weaker drugs laws is set to take place in a Glasgow city centre park next month, amid criticism that it ‘glamorises’ criminal activity and should be stopped by the police.
The Glasgow Cannabis Social Club is organising the event, where speakers will promote cannabis to the public and drug paraphernalia will be sold – attendees will also be encouraged to illegally grow their own supply.
MSPs have criticised the police’s lack of action against the gathering, as they are aware of the event but say they will only stop proceedings if criminal activity takes place.
Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont said: “People will be extremely annoyed at the high-profile celebration of something that’s illegal.”
“It is disappointing that such a carnival in homage to an illegal substance is being facilitated in this way”, he added.
Cannabis is a Class B drug – possession can result in up to five years in prison, although police are able to issue a warning or an on-the-spot fine of £90.
Supply and production of the drug can result in up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, a former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said: “Scotland already has real problems with substance abuse – the fact this group is glamorising the use of cannabis in this way is not good.
“Smoking cannabis is illegal and the notion of making it legal is both irrational and irresponsible.”
“I hope the police and the council will discourage this behaviour”, he said.
And Christine Duncan, chief executive of Scottish Families Affected by Drugs also said the “glamorising of substance misuse” should be opposed because of the negative effect drug abuse has on families.
The celebration is due to take place at Glasgow Green on Sunday 20 April. So far, more than 200 people have signed up via Facebook to attend.
Last year up to two thousand people congregated in Hyde Park to smoke cannabis in a bid to legalise the drug.
“National Pot Smoking Day” was celebrated at similar events across the world.
The rally in London was criticised by anti-drug campaigners, who said the police should have done more as only two people were arrested for possession of cannabis.