Hyde Park 420 Event is Peaceful, Again

Liz Filmer
23 Apr 2022

Police arrested ten revellers as crowds spilt over into the streets on Wednesday night after thousands of weed smokers landed on Hyde Park in London to protest against cannabis laws and celebrate '420' day. Footage showed dozens of officers using dogs to disband partygoers leaving Hyde Park at around 9pm. 

 'This was a proportionate response to a large crowd leaving the park, some involved in assaults. All is now calm. Ten arrests made.'- Superintendent Dan Ivey.

 People were arrested for various offences that included possession of class A and B drugs, intent to supply, possession of a weapon and affray.

Clouds of smoke rose throughout the day, and music bellowed as stoners took over Hyde Park in London and Woodhouse Moor in Leeds. One raver even brought his barbecue along. Several opportunists had also set up stalls selling bongs, papers etc. 

Weed lovers converge for the event every year on April 20- "420" in a call for cannabis to be decriminalised. One guy proclaimed he had spent £650 on a massive joint just for the gathering. He told how it had taken him 6 hours alone to grind up the weed!   

Growing, possessing and distributing the Class B drug is still against UK law. Still, some councils in the UK don't pursue those who use cannabis for 'personal use'.

In recent years police have typically turned a blind eye to the annual assemblage

as long as people remain calm and good-natured. However, the law officially states that anyone caught with cannabis can be issued a warning or an on-the-spot fine of £90. 

420 sees many cannabis-related rallies across the globe. Hyde Park is, without doubt, the largest in the UK. 

In 2021 when outdoor meetings were only authorised for groups of up to six people - weed enthusiasts still flocked to the park despite warnings that the police would be issuing £2000 fines for anyone disregarding lockdown rules.

Generally, the event is relatively peaceful, with reported arrests remaining low throughout the years. In 2017, police detained only 12 people at the rally. The 2015 pro-cannabis rally still only saw a modest 50 people arrested. It is interesting when measured against regular gatherings of thousands of people drinking alcohol in the sun all day. Many examples prove that the arrest rate at these events is much higher. It further proves that something is wrong with the current laws.

Liz Filmer