Pubdate: Thu, 01 May 2008
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2008 The StarPhoenix
Author: Ethan Erkiletian


Though Saskatoon did not have its own event on April 20 to celebrate 
cannabis use and protest its illegality, several such events held 
across Canada draw an interesting comparison to other celebrations 
because of the size of the crowds and their conduct.

Vancouver, where more than 10,000 individuals participated in one 
gathering, was a good example.

Police attended at the request of organizers to stave off fears of 
outside disruption, and the atmosphere was positive. Not a single 
arrest was made at this or similar cannabis events throughout the 
nation. There were no instances of violence or any property damage.

Contrast these peaceful gatherings with police cars being burned in 
Montreal after the Montreal Canadiens' winning game on April 21.

Perhaps we could draw a contrast between the massive crowd gathered 
in Vancouver for peaceful assembly (while smoking pot) with the 
patrons of Fubar Nightclub in Waterloo, Ont. This establishment is 
facing the prospect of losing its liquor licence for the second time 
this year, as a result of large scale violent fights.

It is clear that pot smokers are peaceful, harmless individuals whom 
we have no reason to fear. If they can smoke cannabis in such large 
groups without any violence, why cannot we allow them to use this 
stuff in their homes? Isn't it time we stopped jailing people for 
being part of a market that is so obviously much less harmful than 
the markets that exist today for legal drugs?

Ethan Erkiletian

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom