Pubdate: Wed, 1 Apr 2009
Source: Niagara This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Alison Bell
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)


Pietrangelo Gateway to Falls Should Have a Significant Name, Says Councillor

If Coun. Victor Pietrangelo has his way, this year will be the last 
for the 420 pro-marijuana rally.

Pietrangelo introduced a motion at last week's council meeting to 
rename Highway 420 to a name more significant to the city.

"I think we can create a better first impression for visitors in our 
city," Pietrangelo told This Week.

With the name change would come a new image. From a cannon placed 
along the streetscape to a new gateway and signage, the possibilities 
for revamping the main throughway to the tourist district are 
endless, said Pietrangelo.

Pietrangelo added that with the new arena, the city is losing the 
names Niagara Falls Memorial Arena and Stamford Memorial Arena, and 
perhaps the new name could reflect a memorial of some sort. "I'm 
partial to renaming it to something significant to veterans," he said.

The new name would also rid the 420's association to marijuana.

For more than five years, tourists visiting Clifton Hill every April 
20 have caught a pungent scent as pro-marijuana activists march 
through the tourism district lighting up joints to protest the 
criminalization of marijuana and to demand that cannabis be legalized.

Each year, hundreds of people gather where Highway 420 meets Victoria 
Avenue and then march to Clifton Hill waving flags and inhaling from 
joints, pipes and bongs.

Police typically send cruisers past them frequently, but otherwise 
leave the protesters alone.

"This year could be the last year for the rally," said Pietrangelo.

Residents are encouraged to weigh in on the name change by entering 
suggestions on the city's website at .

"I think it's something everyone can take part in."

The name change requires a resolution of council, approval by the 
region, agreement from Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor and Transport 
Minister Jim Bradley. 
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