A few hundred young people gathered in front of Presidential Palace in Bratislava on Thursday, June 17, to call on Slovak authorities to decriminalise the use of marijuana, the TASR newswire reported.
Organisers promoting the idea of Slovakia being more tolerant towards use of marijuana decided not to march across the city centre, as they had originally planned, and moved only to the nearby Námestie Slobody where several speeches were delivered.
"We don't want to live in fear" and "for green Slovakia" were among the slogans chanted by the group who said they do not like the current legislation. They say it turns decent hard-working people and students into criminals only because they smoke marijuana. One of the speakers pointed out that around 30 percent of young people have experience with such use, and the repression and prohibition does little to deter people from smoking the drug.
The event was watched over by some 220 police, who have reported six arrests. "Two of them for holding melee weapons, one for promoting movements suppressing minorities, plus four others were arrested in order to have their identity checked," said Bratislava Regional Police spokesman František Peczar, who did not specify whether those arrested were part of the demonstration or were among the right-wing extremists who came to protest against the pro-marijuana rally.
The rally had significance as the Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS), the second-largest party in the expected coalition, campaigned for decriminalisation of marijuana.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
18. Jun 2010 at 10:00