Green Pride 2018 – A message from the Chairman
As we enter into our fifth Green Pride, I wanted to take the time to reflect on the rapid growth of our protestival. It has been astonishing to watch the success of this event over the past 5 years.
If you didn’t already know, I’m Rob Davidson, chairman of the Brighton Cannabis Club and event coordinator of Green Pride.
Why do we protest current cannabis legislation in the UK?
We believe that there is no legitimate justification for the prohibition of cannabis. Access to cannabis is a human right and no adult should be prevented from making an informed choice regarding consumption of this wonderful plant. In the current illegal climate, whether you are a medicinal user, recreational user, grower, extractor, enthusiast, or run a cannabis-related business, you are criminalised and become a victim of the unjustifiable prohibition of cannabis. But you should NOT be criminalised!
As an organisation we actively support legalisation, promoting a model based on Spanish-style private social clubs that would allow members to consume privately. We believe that a local, community-led solution is the best way forward for a fair and friendly end to cannabis prohibition. This keeps the power in the hands of the people as we move towards a legal model.
How it all started
2018 will mark the 5th annual Brighton Green Pride Protestival, celebrating half a decade of cannabis pride and unity. Looking back over the past five years, it is hard to believe just how far we have come. In our first year, myself and the vice-chairman showed up alongside a small crowd of around a hundred people to protest the unjust prohibition of cannabis and to openly celebrate cannabis pride. We had no idea if it was just going to be the two of us sitting in Preston Park, smoking a joint and listening to some tunes.
We also had no way to know if the police were waiting around the corner. But the event was a success, and by our second year numbers had grown to around one thousand people. People from a diverse range of backgrounds arrived from all over the country, joining together to unite for the same cause. In year three the numbers rose again, with double the number of visitors and several vendors from businesses and other UK cannabis organisations, including the United Patients Alliance, the United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs, and neighbouring cannabis clubs in the area.
Protestivals for social change
Green Pride is setting the stage for the promotion of an already thriving grassroots cannabis community in the UK. Our protestival was inspired by the Seattle Hemp Fest and Vancouver 420. The Seattle Hemp Fest is currently in its 27th year of cannabis activism, and with thousands of people and over 4 stages it has become the world’s largest annual event advocating cannabis reform. Vancouver 420 also started out as a small protestival, but has grown to host way over ten-thousand people with live music, public speakers and cannabis vendors.
Both events started out with some like-minded individuals who gathered together to promote the legalisation of cannabis, and both have transformed into massive protestivals that continue to this day. Over the years, as cannabis has become decriminalised or legalised in these countries, the focus has shifted to cannabis education, understanding current laws and potential reforms. We hope that Green Pride can also make a difference in the UK, and help to open up the debate around ending cannabis prohibition.
What you can expect from Green Pride 2018
Last year, in the summer of 2017, there were 25 vendors and over 3500 people in attendance. You can check out the footage by clicking the link here. But Green Pride 2018 will be our biggest yet, with twice the amount of vendors and people expected. So please, come along and ensure this incredible growth continues and become part of the future of cannabis legislation. We are sponsored this year by some great businesses, such as CBD Brothers, Quintessential and Seedsman who will be guaranteeing you the best Green Pride experience to date.
Whether you are a consumer, activist, business or volunteer, come and show your support at this year’s Green Pride, and join the growing revolution.