The sun was shining down on Hyde Park, Leeds this past Saturday, 28th September, in particular on a spot visible from the skatepark with some shade from the trees, near the concreted area with bins and a bench. This is where Leeds Cannabis Social Club gathered to peacefully celebrate cannabis culture and the plant’s plethora of uses, benefits and medical properties.
Having had unstable weather reports throughout the month leading up to the event expectations of the turnout and success of the day were widely varied. As only a few clouds filled the sky above Leeds all day it was little surprise that local CSC members, as well as UKCSC admins and intrepid explorers of the cannabis fanbase, left the comfort of their homes in cities such as Birmingham and Middlesbrough in order to further the recent successes in the legalisation and normalisation movement.
The coincidence that the chosen date happened to be exactly 88 years since the introduction of the 1925 Dangerous Drugs Act was one point of discussion during the day and it was later noted that the Leeds CSC Facebook page (which can be found here) hit 800 likes during the day. How long will it be before we hit 1000 likes and then begin to aim for greater heights (although perhaps still a fraction of the cannabis users in Leeds) of 10,000 and potentially expand outwards with a possibility even for a website of our own one day or, if we can be forgiven for dreaming, even an HQ in Leeds city centre…
Another conversation starter was the distinct lack of police presence and indeed that we had not heard from them prior to the event.
We were very appreciative of the fact that other than a park ranger on a motorbike driving past us and two police officers on horseback, who seldom came within 200 feet of us, there was no other intervention by the authorities. There was no need for them to actually approached the group, despite the large number of people of different ages and backgrounds. Even with the plumes of smoke and telling stench of various kushes, skunks and hazes. We even had an extraordinarily (for me anyway) large number of cannabis infused rice crispie cakes, which satisfied my stomach, mind and body all afternoon thanks to one kind UKCSC activist.
There were a couple of familiar faces I had met in April at Hyde Park London and obviously the admins (including myself) from the home club, Leeds. The majority however were fresh faces and I was very pleased to be able to familiarise myself in person with a few names I had only previously seen within club pages on Facebook, the UKCSC and NORML UK networks. In particular it was a pleasure to meet Sheffield Cannabis Community’s Diddybong Gardham, who I chatted with and shared her delight when she was fortunate enough to win first place in the Leeds CSC’s raffle. The top prize was a beautiful custom blown piece kindly donated (along side a couple of smaller but equally attractive pieces) and created by Mellow Glass, whose facebook page can be found here
The raffle has raised some starting funds for the club, so we will certainly be looking to utilise the kindness of 420 businesses local, national and international to enable more raffles, competitions and give-aways as they were for many a highlight of the day. We also now have (limited numbers) UKCSC T-Shirts in black and white for sale. Please contact the Leeds CSC Facebook page for more information.
We are unsure yet as to how this and future money will be spent, however rest assured big things are to come for Leeds Cannabis Social Club as the plan for the winter months, leading back into the good weather months of 2014, are in discussion. With the success of Saturday it is certain our community will continue to grow rapidly and once a suitable indoor meeting venue can be found for meets during winter months we will be able to plan some big steps towards regaining the freedoms that man once had to excercise over one’s own consciousness and body.
We want you to become more involved with future events and the continued development of the community so please drop us a line.
Introduce yourself and let us know your story, what you think and how you believe you can help and input the way we go about things in the future. Recently we had a couple of submissions from some medicinal users who both described in their own way how cannabis helps them to deal with their conditions (MS and ADHD). This is a fantastic way to contribute as it really helps to demonstrate to members of the public, who have not yet been fortunate enough to learn the truth about cannabis, the necessity of legal cannabis and safe, easy access now!
Mike Barton, ACPO member and Chief Constable of Durham Police, has very recently spoken out against the war on drugs by calling even for Class A drugs to be legalised and regulated. Now is the time for us to push forward with the press and public awareness campaigns and to continue to build relationships within communities so that the failed ‘war’ can finally be laid to rest.
It was wide smiles and red eyes all round during the pleasant afternoon. With a mixture of accents coupled with a plethora of weeds, edibles and concentrates the day was surely a sign of things to come. That leaves me feeling like one happy ‘stoner’.
More write-ups, stories, news and events to come thick and fast from the UKCSC so stay tuned and stay high!
Peace & Pot
By Sam Armstrong