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UK: Letter: Special Picnic Made its Point

Alun Buffry

Evening News, Norwich

Wednesday 04 Sep 2013

I attended the Norwich Smokey Bear's Picnic in Chapelfield Gardens alongside about 80- people aged 18 to 75 - contrary to press reports I was not the organiser. .

The purpose of the picnic was to send a message to Norwich City Council that we want somewhere safe to go, where like-minded people can congregate away from the public, just as those that choose to drink alcohol (not allowed in the parks) can go down the pub.

Nobody wants to cause a nuisance to those that do not want to be close to cannabis smoke, but we need to make the point: cannabis users are members of the public too - an estimated 5 million or so in the UK and there must be at least 10,000 in Norwich.

We ask to be left alone so that those that so wish, can grow a few plants at home for their own use.

But even without the change in law that would enable that, we ask the Council to seek permission from the Government, under Health and Safety issues, to grant a temporary license so that those that so wish can gather in groups and share our stories and experiences without fear of search and arrest.

So long as the smokers cause no trouble or threat, the only police needed would be to keep them safe.

I would like to thank everyone present for such a peaceful and relaxed day, in particular Kevin Bear for suggesting the picnic on facebook, Don Bearnard for liaising with the police, and Jack Koala for bringing the flags, Norfolk Constabulary for keeping us safe and the people of Norwich for such a favourable response (I saw that 82% voted in the Evening News on-line poll that the picnic should not be cancelled),.

The picnics were more like Bush-babies than Grizzlies!

Alun Buffry




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