DRUGS EVENT FAILS TO DRAW CROWDS
Hopes That 100 People Would Attend Went Up In Smoke
A "cannabis festival" failed to draw in the crowds in Birmingham, with only
one person bothering to turn up.
More than 100 people were expected to smoke cannabis at Cannon Hill Park in
Edgbaston on Saturday lunchtime.
The city council were opposed to the planned gathering because the park is
used by families with young children.
But a BBC reporter who went to the park at about 1300 BST found just one
person had attended. He had travelled from Chester to find he was alone.
A mobile phone belonging to one of the organisers, who said they hoped to
promote the "recreational and spiritual use" of cannabis, remained
unanswered on Saturday.
A similar event held in the park in 2002 attracted about 20 people.
This year's dismal turnout comes after recent legislation downgraded
cannabis from Class B to Class C, meaning police no longer automatically
arrest those caught in possession of the drug.
West Midlands Police said they sent officers to the park but saw no signs
of any kind of gathering.
The one person who did turn up as the event was due to start on Saturday
lunchtime admitted that support was "a bit thin on the ground".
The man, who wished to be identified only as Mark, told BBC WM: "Cannabis
users aren't the fastest starters, are they?"
Park rangers said on Saturday evening they had not seen any sign of a
gathering taking place during the afternoon.