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Brighton cannabis club scouts for unofficial dope speakeasies
Cannabis activists hope to work with Green Party politicians to lobby for a change to the law, Brighton’s first cannabis club meeting heard.
The legalisation campaigners will hold a Green Pride march and demonstration in Brighton and Hove this summer.
They also want to find sympathetic venues in the “liberal city” that will allow advocates to smoke and socialise in private.
Advertising the meeting, the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs website said: “Things have been slow in the last decade and it is time there was a new push in one of the country’s most liberal and tolerating places.”
About 30 people gathered at The Hobgoblin pub, in York Place, yesterday for the first public meeting organised by Brighton Cannabis Club.
The group is part of a network of some 50 clubs across the country calling for an end to prohibition, following in the footsteps of Colorado, USA.
Clark French, southern regional manager of the UK Cannabis Club, said: “We really feel that Brighton is a place to gather support.
“It is a liberal city with the only Green council and Green MP and we think we can work with them and get things moving.”
Users told how they turned to cannabis for a mixture of recreational and medicinal reasons.
The group’s admin, a 21-year-old student, who did not wish to give his name, said: “Four years ago my mother took her own life. She was depressed and overdosed on sleeping pills and anti-depressants.
“For that reason when I got depressed I didn’t want to take anti-depressants.
“I’ve got post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and tremors, and I’ve tried going to the gym and meditation, but the only think that works is cannabis.”
Mr French added: “I was diagnosed with MS in 2010 and cannabis has changed my life.
“I weaned myself off eight different medications and I now save the NHS £16,000 per year by just using cannabis.
“It reduces my symptoms, takes away the pain, helps with balance, eases headaches and helps sleep.”
Critics say the drug is linked to mental health issues in users, but the club say no scientific study has proven the Class-B drug causes schizophrenia.
It wants cannabis to be prescribed by doctors and available to buy for over 18s.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas and retired Chief Superintendant Graham Bartlett have called for personal drug use to be decriminalised.
Green councillor Ben Duncan has also called for Dutch-style cannabis cafes.
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