Pubdate: Fri, 28 Apr 2006
Source: Niagara This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Robert Lapensee
Note: From MAP: Where this newspaper printed 'one million', below, it 
should have printed 'one thousand'
Cited: Hwy. 420 Cannabis Rally
Cited: Alison Myrden
Cited: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Decriminalize Pot, Say Advocates

NIAGARA FALLS -- They came, they smoked, they marched and they smoked 
some more.

Hundreds of marijuana users flooded into a parkette in Niagara Falls 
where Highway 420 meets Victoria Avenue during the Hwy. 420 Cannabis 
Rally Saturday, carrying signs and calling on Prime Minister Stephen 
Harper to legalize marijuana.

The throng also brought joints, pipes and bongs and were using them 
in public despite Niagara Regional Police cruisers frequently passing 
by. When the crowd left the parkette, they marched to Clifton Hill 
waving their flags and signs for passers-by to see.

Smoking marijuana is illegal in Canada except for about one million 
people who are given exemptions to use it for medicinal purposes. 
Alison Myrden, a Burlington resident and a member of Law Enforcement 
Against Prohibition, is a medicinal user to keep her chronic 
progressive multiple sclerosis at bay. She said at the rally she is 
suppose to take 32 pills and 2,000 milligrams of morphine a day and 
should be wheelchair-bound but has cut about 20 pills out because of 
using marijuana.

"I'm on my feet because I smoke," said Myrden, adding she's had to 
take her daily doses of pills for 15 years. "I don't want to do that 
anymore. I'd rather smoke and eliminate two-thirds of my pills."

Marco Rendal, the publisher and editor of Treating Yourself, a 
magazine dedicated to medicinal use marijuana, is a Toronto resident 
with irriitable bowel syndrome.

He said the issue should not be in the political realm and the 
negativity surrounding the issue is what led him to putting out his 
magazine, to promote medical use.

"The reason I'm here is to educate and promote respectable and 
responsible use of marijuana."