More people attended the Marijuana March in Hungary than ever – chances for decriminalization are growing after the parlamentary elections.More people attended the Marijuana March in Hungary than ever – chances for decriminalization are growing after the parlamentary elections.
The Hemp Seed Association (Kendermag Egyesület) estimates that at least 6000 people gathered in Budapest to protest against drug prohibition with a peaceful picnic on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The Global Marijuana March took place on the Margit Island this year in a park. Several well-known Hungarian music bands entertained the crowd in the festival from 3 PM to 9 PM. Significant police forces came up to keep potential counter-demonstrators out from the territory (after the violent conflict in 2003 Budapest Police is very cautious) but finally there were no atrocities at all.
Peter Juhasz from Hemp Seed is speaking to the crowd
One of youngest protesters…
…an elderly protester…
…and an anti-prohibitionist dog
According to the report of the Index (a Hungarian online news portal) there is good chance for decriminalization after the last parlamentary elections (April 2006), where the Socialist-Liberal coalition gained enough votes to form a new government. It seems that even the conservatives realized that the public attitudes to drug users are changing: they did not play the „drug card” in their election campaign – not like during the last elections, when there was an overheated anti-drug campaigne led by conservative politicians. Liberals have already pointed out during the preliminary negotiations of the coalition that drug policy is a priority for them. They are going to hold to the full decriminalization of all drug users, regardless of the substance they used. Speakers from the Hemp Seed Association and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union emphasized that decriminalization can be the first step to normalize government policies on drug use, but the final goal is the legal regulation of mind altering substances.