Bristol Cannabis Club

Know Your Roots

Our information stand in the WTU tent

Bristol Cannabis Club were lucky to be invited into the WTU tent at Know Your Roots eco festival in Essex this September. Many prominent and familiar faces from within the cannabis community shared the space with us, and festival-goers were treated to incredible talks and presentations from people who inspire hope and and change for the legal and medical systems in our beautiful country. We are grateful specifically to Phil and Lou Monk, who kindly offered us the tickets and space within their organisation, and also to Chay Godfrey, who set up the festival, and his team of dedicated individuals. But our gratitude extends out to all of the amazing, intelligent people we worked alongside at the festival – the Bristol Cannabis Club admin team have done their fair share of festivals both as punters and staff, and we can honestly say that this was the most chilled out and relaxed festival we have ever been to. But what more could we have expected, from the cannabis community? We are, after all, well known for our good and peaceful nature!

THE FESTIVAL

The festival itself, set on farmland close to Hainault Forest, was blessed with good weather and calm skies for most of the weekend – the showers on Sunday served only to bring people closer together in shelter, to enjoy music, workshops and spiritual sessions before the final drumming and closing ceremony. Bristol Cannabis Club brought camping chairs which were sourced through Refuge Centre, a small non-profit organisation who collect and redistribute festival waste to refugee and homeless communities across the world. Refuge Centre staff were present at the festival but had no need to collect waste, revellers choosing instead to be mindful of their location and dispose of their rubbish responsibly. It has to be said, the marked lack of alcohol throughout the festival, possibly due to its high proportion of cannabis consumers and in contrast to most other UK festivals, clearly contributed to the lack of festival detritus left behind. Smokers were even collecting their roaches and butts, and disposing of them as they were their paper food trays and cups, and the lack of cans, bottles and crates made the festival one of the cleanest we’ve been to in recent times.

The WTU tent was filled with interesting, informative stalls ranging from tasty mushroom and hemp snacks to consumption paraphernalia and information stands. Bristol Cannabis Club brought a small 1X1 grow tent to display, along with some other grow equipment, but our role was primarily one of information and explanation. We signed up two new members (which is pretty good going, considering we were in Essex!), and found ourselves in conversation with an eclectic mix of people ranging from post-retirement consumers seeking more information on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, to a gentleman who has been growing organic cannabis in the UK and selling it to GW Pharmaceuticals for more than eight years.

THE TALKS

The talks, held in the shelter of the WTU marquee, were rich and varied, inspiring positive change and attitudes amongst those listening. Speakers ranged from representatives of UK cannabis clubs, through people who had been directly and detrimentally effected by UK cannabis laws, to those who wanted to impart their knowledge and expertise in preparing cannabis products. Members of C-R-I-C, WTU and the UKCSC were present to relay their experiences and intentions for the future of cannabis decriminalisation and destigmatisation, with a focus on the plans for WTU, who are taking the UK government to the human rights courts regarding their prohibition of cannabis, and the therapeutic benefits it offers.

Bristol Cannabis Club participated in a panel talk chaired by Greg de Hoedt of the UKCSC, alongside representatives from Devon Cannabis Club, Brighton Cannabis Club, Durham Cannabis Club and Teesside Cannabis Club. The most popular question throughout the panel talk and the weekend in general, was how to set up a cannabis club of your own. The answer, in short, is whatever way you and your cannabis community see fit. Each representative spoke of different elements to running a club, and different setbacks which had been encountered, and overcome. This reflects on the fact that societies, and communities, are different from each other – what works for one city may fail in another. The idea is that we keep trying. We keep fighting, for the decriminalisation of one of the most useful and beneficial plants the earth has to offer. The vibes were strong and filled with love, and questions were interesting, engaging the speakers and encouraging meaningful discussion. If the panel were to be summed up in one word, we’d say that that word has to be “community” – and that’s true to the heart of Bristol Cannabis Club. Without our community of members and supporters, we would simply not exist.

Bristol Cannabis Club were overwhelmed by the hospitality offered by Phil and Lou Monk and the rest of WTU, Chay Godfree and the Know Your Roots team, and we hope we can do it all again next year! In fact, we want to do more than that.

THE FUTURE

Bristol Cannabis Club have engaged in the first stages of development for Community Camp – South West. We are currently engaging with and seeking out cannabis-related businesses and individuals of experience from across the UK, to launch a three day ‘festival’ of education, spirituality, and community in the South West of England. We have secured a site, and a capacity of 250 people. Our deepest desire is to celebrate 2020, the year with a month of 420, through the launch of several festivals across all corners and crevices of the United Kingdom. We want to unite the cannabis communities, and share our knowledge, our experiences, and our hopes and dreams with each other. If you are a member or owner of a cannabis-related business/group/organisation, please get in touch with us! If you’re not South West based, we can try to put you in touch with others around the country!

We are proud of what we have in Bristol, and of the family we have evolved into. But we want to grow. Literally, and figuratively. We’ve been inspired by Know Your Roots, and we want to explore our own roots, here in Bristol, with those who have grown from the same. If you are a current cannabis consumer and willing to offer your time and energy to the cause, please get in touch regarding signing up – you need to know someone already a member of Bristol Cannabis Club in order to be referred, but we also do meet and greets across the city for those keen but without friends in the know.

Big love <3

And don’t forget to sign the petition! We want local authorities to permit regulated cannabis clubs their freedom to exist and assist in their communities without fear of persecution and a lifelong criminal record. The only way we can win is by standing together.


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