Pubdate: Sun, 07 May 2000
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2000 The Province
Contact:  200 Granville Street, Ste. #1, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N3 Canada
Fax: (604) 605-2323
Author: Charlie Anderson


Almost 1,000 happy tokers paraded down Georgia yesterday in
celebration of the weed.

They were Vancouver's contribution to the Millenium Marijuana March, a
worldwide protest to fight for "the right of everyone to use the
healing marijuana herb."

Just days after Health Canada put out tenders for a marijuana grow-op
to cultivate medical marijuana, march organizer David Malmo Levine
called for pot to be distributed to the healthy as well as the sick.

"The government doesn't understand that healthy people need nice,
cheap, herbal, relaxant stimulants and euphoriants," said Levine.

"I hope we get that message out. Have some compassion for the healthy,
not just the sick."

A brief hailstorm failed to extinguish the spirits or the reefers of
the crowd, which was chaperoned by a watchful Vancouver police bicycle

The objective of the parade, Levine said, was to celebrate pot,
distribute marijuana seeds and plant them in Stanley Park and every
other park in the city.

Wheelchair athlete Vickey Nicholson was one of many who carried fully
leafed pot plants in the parade.

Nicholson, who suffers from diseases including multiple sclerosis,
cerebral palsy and arthritis, admitted to the occasional puff, but not
before a race.

"I'd rather smoke pot than use about 10 to 15 combinations of pills
with all their side-effects," she said.

"It makes my life a lot easier. I can focus on a lot of stuff rather
than focusing on pain and being laid up all the time.

"We're demonstrating, once again, a whole bunch of people can get
together, consume massive quantities of this stuff and nothing more
horrible happens than some people get dry mouth."
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