Now Reading: Green Pride Cannabis Protest Returns to Brighton after a Three-year Absence

July 10, 2023

Green Pride Cannabis Protest Returns to Brighton after a Three-year Absence

Cannabis enthusiasts will light up as they discover the UK’s biggest cannabis protest outside of 4/20 is returning. 

On Saturday 12th August 2023, Green Pride will host their cannabis protest picnic in Preston Park, Brighton, East Sussex, UK from 12 pm onwards. 

Green Pride is a protest hosted by local cannabis activists who are members of the Brighton Cannabis Club and their parent organisation, the UK Cannabis Social Clubs. 

green pride poster

The protest at Green Pride is to draw attention to what cannabis consumers call “unjust laws” and “unfair access to medical cannabis”. Campaigners and activists call for the legal right to grow cannabis at home for personal use with access to cannabis social clubs that can sell lab-tested cannabis products to ensure consumer safety. Patient activists also want GPs to be able to prescribe cannabis for people with a genuine medical need because currently, only specialist doctors can write a prescription making it unaffordable for many.

This year’s theme is “It’s Just a Picnic”, encouraging people to come along and have a nice picnic in the park with like-minded people. So take some food and your favourite things to do on a picnic in Brighton and join the protest – just take all your rubbish home with you, including joint ends. Green Pride is a community event in a public space; it is important to respect the park grounds. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, and you must keep them on a lead. 

Attendees can buy raffle tickets to support the fundraiser and get tea and coffee from the information station in the park’s northeast corner.

Green Pride wants to draw attention to the fact that cannabis consumers, growers and distributors are at risk of going to prison for a victimless crime. More people are now in prison for cannabis than in the previous ten years at great expense to the taxpayer. 

Brighton Cannabis Club Chairman Anthony “Aggs” Linscer said, “We have friends in prison for growing and extracting cannabis that patients were accessing because they cannot afford a prescription even though it’s now legal – this year, Green Pride is for them.”

Anthony continued, “We must also draw attention to the fact that the government discriminates against working people for their cannabis use. They work a hard day and have to pay their taxes. Why can’t they use cannabis in the evening when they get home if they can drink a beer or glass of wine?”

“Green Pride is back because cannabis is for all, it’s for everyone, and the fight isn’t over,” Anthony added. 

Green Pride’s History

green pride field
Photo: Green Pride as seen from across a field, 2017. Image credit: ISMOKE Media

The Green Pride protest started in 2014 as an initiative of the UKCSC. The Brighton Cannabis Club’s summer picnic gathering spawned life into the idea, bringing together over 30 members the club had reached in just six months. The picnic was the members speaking up, “We don’t want to hide anymore”, and their way of coming out about cannabis, something they felt no shame over.  

At the second Green Pride, 100 people turned up to show support and celebrate cannabis which grew to 1000 the following year. Year by year, the event continued to grow. By 2019, attendance reached around 6000 cannabis enthusiasts and curious people assembled in Preston Park to speak out against the current cannabis policy. 

More than just a picnic, the “protestival” had evolved into a free cannabis market with vendors driving across the country to represent their cannabis brand and connect with the most significant cannabis gathering of its kind. 

However, making Green Pride what it is hasn’t been as easy as rolling a joint. The police learned of the protest as the size grew and became a full force in the third year. This backlash did not deter organisers who fought for the attendees’ right to protest, maintaining a very low record of arrests. 

people at green pride
Photo: Revellers at Green Pride 2018. Image credit: ISMOKE Media

The COVID pandemic disrupted everyone’s lives and forced Green Pride to take a break due to the political instructions that prevented everyone from socialising. 

Brighton and Hove City Council discussed Green Pride during the forced hiatus after a councillor made accusations about the protest operating for profit despite no evidence to support this. The committee held a vote where council representatives decided that Green Pride could not go ahead with any commercial sales on any council-owned land. Still, they did agree to support the right to protest for medical cannabis and CBD oil. 

The decision by Brighton and Hove Council to scale back the ambitions of Green Pride made Brighton Cannabis Club reconsider the style of the protest in the future. 

Green Pride continues to raise the spirit of activism in the UK, inspiring many to become more vocal about the injustices they see and experience as cannabis consumers. 


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    Green Pride Cannabis Protest Returns to Brighton after a Three-year Absence