Marijuana March 08

On Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in the Calgary chapter of the International Marijuana March. The event is held annually to promote legalization of marijuana, and to spread information about the medicinal benefits of marijuana.

We rallied around a speaker who talked about the benefits of legalized marijuana.

These two were arrested for smoking pot.  They were taken away in hand cuffs.

We marched for several blocks downtown, shouting “Free the Weed” and “Smoke Pot!”.  There was a lot of weed being smoked.

The police presence was quite noticeable.  There was about 30 police officers, and about 500-700 activists.

The large majority of the people taking part in this March were teenagers and people in their early 20’s. While it is great to see youth involved in issues they care about, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed in the turnout of an older generation – such as the parents of the kids who were taking part.

In Canada, marijuana is used regularly by 16.8% of the population (according to the 2007 World Drug Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime) which is over 5.5 million people. Marijuana is smoked by Lawyers, Doctors, Teachers, Politicians… even those who enforce drug laws enjoy toking up.

Yet I didn’t see any of these people standing up and letting their voices be heard. None of them were speaking out against an unjust law that is keeping a relatively benign plant from being consumed legally.

Of course, this is Calgary which is a Conservative city, in Alberta which is a conservative province, so I suppose the turn out wasn’t that bad when that is considered. I imagine that Vancouver’s Marijuana March had a much different atmosphere.

Still, we need to speak out and FREE THE WEED.

Marijuana is a safe medication with countless benefits, and it is easily grown pretty much anywhere. But to make matters worse, the criminalization of marijuana is also stifling the hemp industry.

Hemp can be made into so many things that it is one of earth’s few superplants (see this short video). With the demand for biofuel on the rise, the time is nigh for hemp to be allowed back into the marketplace as an excellent source of ethanol.

Its time for our antiquated prohibition laws to be abolished, and for our criminal justice system to catch up to facts and face reality.

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