CANNABIS campaigners organised a picnic in the park to highlights what they believe the benefits are of using the illegal drug.
The event was organised by the Hampshire Cannabis Community.
It was held in Castle Field yesterday, and pro-cannabis users were invited to go along, bring a picnic and show solidarity for the drug.
Organiser Simon Dignam, 42, said Britain has an outdated view of the substance and laws need to be changed based on new research and evidence.
He said: ‘Things have changed so much around the world, but this country is still living in the past.
‘There are many more facts and research done on the benefits of cannabis and people need to start thinking outside the box.’
Things have changed so much around the world, but this country is still living in the pastOrganiser Simon Dignam
Mr Dignam said he has used cannabis for the past 25 years and believes it does not have a negative effect on him.
He added: ‘I was on anti-depressants for years.
‘I started smoking weed and found I was a more chilled-out person compared to when I was using anti-depressants.
‘I would class myself as a medicinal and recreational user and there’s nothing wrong with me.
‘I don’t think there is a concrete link to using the drug and psychosis.
‘People who are prone to that will react to a number of things like alcohol, caffeine or nicotine.
‘Cannabis isn’t for everyone, but I think this country needs to bring itself forward on its usage.’
A 36-year-old woman from Southampton, who did not want to be named, said using cannabis helps her manage pain.
She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia six months ago, and two years ago had both of her feet amputated due to diabetes.
She said: ‘I have been using cannabis for 18 months and it’s helped me manage my pain better.
‘I was on painkillers and I still felt awful, plus there were side effects too.
‘I went on the internet and researched this and came across the Hampshire Cannabis Community.
‘I smoke it, vape it and eat it, depending on what level of pain relief I need.
‘I’m in 80 per cent less pain than when I was using painkillers.’
Hampshire police said there were no arrests.