Pubdate: Mon, 21 Apr 2014
Source: Metro (Edmonton, CN AB)
Page: 4
Copyright: 2014 Metro Canada
Author: Lucy Haines


Marijuana Users Gather To Support Legalization

A light rain and the lure of an Easter Sunday supper didn't stop
thousands of cannabis users from taking a group hit at the annual
Alberta 420 rally at the legislature grounds.

The peaceful gathering - with blankets, bongo drums and spontaneous
hackey sack games - looked more like a day at the folk festival
instead of a protest rally.

Edmonton police were on hand making foot patrols and constables on
bicycles dotted the perimeter of the legislature to make sure the
communal pot-smoking event remained trouble-free.

Alberta 420 director Keith Fagin said the primary goal of this, the
largest pro-pot event in the province, isn't to encourage public
consumption of marijuana, but rather to educate the public about
cannabis and advocate for legalization.

Grant MacEwan student Nathan Scott, 23, said he likes the freedom of
smoking pot out in the open with friends.

Filling a pipe he calls 'the grim reaper', Scott and friends puff and
pass the pot filled device around the circle on the grassy field,
saying it's like an island where you know you won't get charged for
smoking your pot, at least for one day.

"I had cancer when I was 12. Now, the weed helps me relax, and reduces
my anxiety," Scott said. "I have a job, good grades, a life. I'd like
to at least see marijuana de-criminalized, if not legalized."

Kris Hansen said 420 is an occasion to protest - to bring an end to
the ban on weed. "In 50 years, it'll be like prohibition was for alcohol."  
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D