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YEP says: Leeds cannabis rally legal row a lot of hot air

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We have so many mixed messages about cannabis - still an illegal drug in this country - that it’s not surprising it still causes controversy.

It is illegal and yet its unmistakable aroma can be sniffed on the breeze in Leeds as it can in every town and city in up and down the land, and nobody seems to turn a hair.

So, on the face of it, an afternoon rally to bang the drum for Cannabis does not seem something that should trouble the council unduly. Surely reassurances from the organisers that there would be no illegal activity (buying, selling or smoking cannabis) and the nod from the police that they were aware of the event should be enough to be reasonably sure everyone has a safe, happy and legal time of it. So what could be the issue?

Any large gathering of people, protest or otherwise, has its risks and yet the council applied for an injunction on this one fearing people would go to the event intending to “engage in the consumption and supply of controlled drugs” Communication between the two groups should not have been allowed to break down to the extent that this ended up in the courts and costing the council taxpayer. Cynics might say the event organisers had more to gain by not engaging with the council - after all they got their day in court and the publicity that surrounds that. In the end some Friday afternoon sunshine probably did more to get people to Woodhouse Moor than anything else.