A public rally is to be staged in Derry calling for the complete decriminalisation of cannabis use.
Tony McColgan from Legenderry Cannabis Club said that some people are planning to smoke marijuana at the event as a protest against the current legal position.
The rally will start at 4.20pm on April 20 at Guildhall Square and will be one of many across the world.
Mr. McColgan said: “The momentum is massive now and it is brilliant. The legalisation for medical use is a given. The medical evidence is overwhelming for pain management, cancer, Parkinson’s and so on, and yet at the same time there are people being criminalised simply for choosing a healthier lifestyle.”
Mr. McColgan contrasted the impact of Cannabis with that of legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. “There has never been a recorded death or injury due to Cannabis. You cannot say the same for anything else,” he said, adding: “We want Cannabis taxed and regulated. It would be a new revenue stream, not just for the government - we are asking why can we not grow it here as well? Our agricultural sector is struggling as it is.”
Mr. McColgan said that legalisation would take dealers off the streets, and prevent them introducing people to harmful hard drugs.
While the event in Derry is open to all, Mr McColgan said there were plans by some to light up and break the law in solidarity with all cannabis users and “to show them we are not hiding in the shadows.”