Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 The Calgary Sun
Author: Bill Kaufmann
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Denouncing as a smokescreen a city police drug awareness session, 
cannabis community activists plan to picket a southeast high school 
tomorrow in response.

Members of the pro-marijuana legalization group Calgary 420 said for 
the first time they'll greet with placards attendees -- expected to 
be both adults and students -- at Forest Lawn high school tomorrow 
night to hear police discuss the dangers of drugs.

Group founder Keith Fagin said he's fed up with fearmongering on 
marijuana and expects about a dozen activists to join him handing out 
brochures on public property next to the school at 1304 44 St. S.E.

"We'll be handing out scientific information trying to sway them from 
continuing their reefer madness insanity," said Fagin, who's consumed 
marijuana for 35 years and uses it to alleviate symptoms of severe 
muscle deterioration. Fagin acknowledged picketing a school may raise 
public -- particularly parental -- hackles and that he's met with 
verbal resistance at previous school events.

But he said it's not his intent to advocate drug use, rather to point 
out the futility of what he calls "the lies" told to young people 
about marijuana and the dangers of tougher drugs laws being proposed by Ottawa.

"Lying to them's not going to work," he said, adding numerous 
government studies have called for more liberalized marijuana laws. 
"It's not my biased opinion -- why isn't the government listening to 
their own studies?"

Fagin said his attempts to be part of the awareness session panel 
have been rebuffed but that he plans to attend the event and pose questions.

"I'm not there to be disruptive, I just want to ask them questions 
and hopefully I'll be able to talk but it doesn't surprise me they 
don't want to debate," he said.

Police have warned about the mental and physical risks of what they 
call the much greater potency of contemporary marijuana.

A spokesman for the public school board wouldn't comment, saying the 
event isn't being organized by the district.

Calgary 420 holds several downtown demonstrations a year where police 
have arrested some participants for drug offences.
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