South East Wales

Cardiff pro-cannabis march calls for drugs cafes

A "legalise marijuana" banner at the demonstration

Hundreds of people gathered in Cardiff city centre to march in favour of legalising cannabis clubs.

About 300 people met at Alexandra Gardens on Saturday and made their way through the city centre.

Organised by Cardiff Cannabis Social Club, it called for people to be able to smoke the drug in licensed premises.

But Clive Wolfendale, chief executive of drug and alcohol charity Cais, said cannabis could be a "very, very strong drug".

"Many people still think of cannabis as a 1960s hippie flowers in your hair type of thing, the reality is far from that these days," he said.

"Cannabis can be a very, very strong drug indeed, 10-20 times as strong as it used to be and can be taken in many different forms.

"So the issue we're dealing with here is rather different to anyone's preconception."

Image caption Al Burrell wants cannabis to be legalised but regulated

But the cannabis club said this alternative approach would be "a much safer alternative in every way for cannabis consumers and the rest of society than the black market situation which currently exists under UK drug laws".

Al Burrell from the Bristol Cannabis Club, who helped organise the Cardiff Global Cannabis march, said it was about raising awareness for cannabis regulation.

"There's a stigma so people can't admit they're taking cannabis, they can't get access to the right strains that are often produced in the right way," he said.

"People are being penalised quite heavily, they're losing jobs, careers, families, and it's just not right, it has to change."

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