Spliffing in the face of the law: Fury as thousands gather to smoke cannabis in Hyde Park… and not a SINGLE ONE of them is charged

  • Thousands gathered at crowded ‘420’ rally calling for legalisation of cannabis 
  • Possession of the Class B drug carrying maximum jail sentence of five years
  • Met Police defended lack of action saying it meant rally passed ‘largely without incident’

It’s a sight that makes a mockery of Britain’s drug laws.

As families relaxed in the warm sunshine, thousands of drug users gathered in a Central London park to smoke cannabis – in full view of the police.

Officers stood by in Hyde Park and watched, smiling, as plumes of pungent smoke filled the air.

Revellers, including some teen-agers, lay sprawled on the grass, confident the police would do nothing at the crowded ‘420’ rally, an annual event which calls for the legalisation of cannabis.

One man said: ‘I’m not that bothered about being arrested. The police will just take it off us – and we’ve got more anyway.’

There were no arrests at Friday’s rally, even though possession of the Class B drug carries a maximum jail sentence of five years.

The shocking failure to enforce the law comes as The Mail on Sunday today reveals nine out of ten teenagers in drug clinics are being treated for cannabis abuse.

A Met Police spokesman last night defended their lack of action, saying its approach to enforcing drug laws ‘meant [the rally] passed off largely without incident’ and was ‘no different from any other day’.

Their leniency is mirrored by new figures showing the police and courts are increasingly going soft on drugs. The number of ‘proven drug law offenders’ plummeted to 102,948 in 2016 – a fall of a quarter in two years, according to the Focal Point on Drugs report.

Of these, ‘the majority were dealt with outside court’, with 41,831 sentenced in court, the rest given a warning or caution. The ‘most common sentence was a fine’, meted out to a third, while a fifth were jailed, including 1,009 for possession and 7,459 for trafficking.

The ‘420’ event is believed to have been named after a group of 1970s Californian youngsters who met after school at 4.20pm to smoke marijuana. The day April 20 has since become an informal festival to celebrate the drug.

Source: Fury as thousands gather to smoke cannabis in Hyde Park and not a SINGLE ONE of them is charged  | Daily Mail Online April 2018

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