Some 7000 people took part in the 16th annual demonstration and march in support of the legalisation of marijuana, probably the most widespread drug in the Czech Republic, in Prague Saturday.
The event, organised by the Legalizace.cz (Legalisation) association is part of the worldwide Million (Global) Marijuana March campaign.
The police detained seven participants on suspicion of drug delicts.
«The main demand of the demonstration is the legalisation of the growing and possession of hemp and hemp products for personal use both for the treatment and recreational purposes,» Legalizace.cz chairman Robert Veverka said.
Marijuana is still illegal in the Czech Republic but a new law has enabled the use of hemp for medical purposes since April.
Saturday’s event is to express disagreement with the «anti-hemp» policy of the Czech Republic and point to the shortcomings of the valid legislation, including the law on medical hemp, Veverka pointed out.
The participants in the Million Marijuana March met in the city centre at Karlovo square at 13:00 and then they marched, accompanied by music, to a park in the Zizkov neighbourhood where music performances and other programme were staged.
Besides, people could taste beer and ice cream made of hemp there.
The protest was monitored by some 250 national and municipal policemen along with members of the police anti-conflict team.
Policemen had to close the motorway in the centre for ten minutes over the march. Otherwise, no incidents occurred and the event did not cause any major problems in the city.
A CTK reporter said the demonstrators were openly smoking marijuana joints and water pipes.
Policemen dealt with five suspicions of misdemeanours in connection with drugs and another two of the crime of drug (particularly marijuana) possession, police spokeswoman Jana Roesslerova said.
According to opinion polls, over a half of Czechs aged 15-34 have ever used marijuana.
A recent poll conducted by the Ipsos agency shows that 53 percent of Czechs would agree with the legalisation of the recreational use of marijuana.
Last year, about 7000 young people attended the Million Marijuana March in Prague.