Bristol has long been at the forefront of the war against the war against drugs, and now passionate advocates of the herb want to spread the word further afield.
Equal rights campaigner and owner of a camper van with two lava lamps in it, Tad Sturgeon, spoke at a rally in Castle Park last night: “It shocked me. In this day and age, there are places like Coventry where I am literally frowned upon in the street for something as trivial as the colour of my cigarette,” he said.
“In Bristol I can get high for medicinal purposes wherever and whenever I want, and I don’t see why it can’t be the same when I go see my mother in hospital in Norwich,”
Bristol Head of Policing Jackeline Horsebarne was approached for comment, and was keen to clarify: “All illegal drugs are illegal everywhere, including Bristol. What is unique about Bristol is that we have adopted a three-pronged approach to tackling drug use. Since implementing this – ‘don’t chase, don’t arrest, turn a blind eye’ – policy, we have seen drug related arrests down 95%, at a time when police budgets have been cut significantly.
Ms Horsebarne would neither confirm nor deny that the same approach was being used to tackle other crimes, such as bike theft and burglary.