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Cannabis campaigners warned they face arrest
A GROUP campaigning to get cannabis legalised has been told its members face arrest if they take drugs at a peaceful demonstration in Southampton.
Paul Crossett, who set up the Southampton Cannabis Club, has organised the Smoke Up tomorrow in a bid to raise awareness about the medical benefits which are claimed for the illegal class B drug.
The 38-year-old hopes to be joined at Southampton Common by more than 30 fellow campaigners, who will be smoking joints and handing out leaflets outlining his own story about how he claims cannabis has ended years of epileptic fits.
But police last night warned participants that they could be arrested if they take the drug.
Paul, from Portswood, has suffered from epilepsy since he was a child and first started using cannabis four years ago after suffering from regular fits despite being on prescribed medication.
He took to the Internet and found that a compound within the drug has anti-convulsant properties and decided it was worth the risk, although he admits it was a big step to take.
He started with a small amount and claims that after three months he suffered just one seizure compared to the three or four he was having a week when on medication.
He then upped the dosage, to one gram a day, and he claims he has not had a seizure in the past five months, which he believes is as a result of the medical benefits of the drug.
Paul, a dad-of-two, is on a mission to raise awareness about its medical properties and campaign to get the law changed.
Tomorrow, between midday and 5pm, he and other members of the club will congregate on the Common, by the lake, away from children’s areas, to smoke and hand out leaflets.
He said: “The law says I’m a criminal but in my eyes I’m only trying to survive the best I can. I do believe that cannabis has a real medical value.
“I only use it to prevent my seizures and to prolong my life. I have never looked back since.
“For me not to have a seizure is so important because each one is potentially dangerous and you never know if you are going to come back from it. As a dad that scares me and I don’t want to put my family through that.
“It’s not for everyone and I understand that, and as a father myself, I do not promote the use of drugs for the sake of it, but this is different.”
A police spokesman said: “Police are advising people not to smoke cannabis at this event. They could be liable for arrest as it is a class B drug.”
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