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Controversial cannabis festival 420 returns after 500 people descended on park for 2014 event

Image of electronic police bill boards warning about marijuana in Hyde Park UK 2014
Dan Thompson ~ Mirror UK ~ 
Hundreds of people are expected to go attend the event - last year, police made no arrests despite visitors openly smoking cannabis
Image of electronic police bill boards warning about marijuana in Hyde Park UK 2014
A controversial cannabis festival will return to the UK as part of a series of worldwide events campaigning for the legalisation of marijuana.
Hundreds of people are expected to go attend the ‘420’ event, when it returns to Manchester's Platt Fields Park this Sunday, reports the Evening News.
Around 500 people went to the festival last year - with police on patrol making no arrests despite participants openly smoking cannabis.
There was also an event in London's Hyde Park.
The Platt Fields Park event is organised by Manchester pro-cannabis groups Mannijuana and the Greater Manchester Cannabis Club.
The event’s Facebook page reads: “This will be our fifth annual gathering so we plan to make it one to remember.
“For those who haven’t been there’s going to be good tunes, good food, good company, games and activities, face painting, freebies, talks stalls and information all in the name of celebrating the many aspects of cannabis culture.
“Bring friends, family, pets, games, instruments, food and drink and anything else you might fancy for a day in the park.
“We want to keep the park as we found it, so try and bring a couple of bin bags with you to make things easier.”
The phrase 420 - pronounced ‘four twenty’ – has become a well-known term in cannabis culture after a group of pot-smoking students in California, known as the Waldos, coined it while searching for an abandoned crop of marijuana in 1971.
An international day of pro-cannabis events is now held every year on April 20 as a nod to the term.
The first year of the festival was marked in Manchester with an event in the city centre that was quickly dispersed by police.
For the past four years, the event has moved to Platt Fields Park because it is regarded as a more low-key location in the heart of south Manchester’s student land.
Despite a visible police presence at last year’s events, no arrests were made, with the event passing off peacefully.
This year’s event in Manchester is actually being held on April 19 and will start at 1pm. It will include talks from people including Kieran Turner-Dave, the Green candidate for Manchester Central, who will be speaking about the party’s policies on cannabis legalisation.
No one from Greater Manchester Police was available for comment.
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