Pubdate: Sun, 20 Apr 2014
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2014 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Kevin Maimann
Page: 7
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Popular)


Stand up, but don't light up, say organizers of Alberta's largest pro 
pot celebration.

Alberta 420 director Keith Fagin says some younger participants in 
the annual Edmonton 420 Rally, set to take place at the legislature 
grounds Sunday afternoon, have a misconception that smoking up in 
public is legal on April 20.

"We never encourage people to consume publicly in the open. But we 
know and the police know there are going to be people who will spark 
up at 4:20 p.m.," Fagin said.

This year's rally is expected to draw more than 10,000 people.

There will be entertainment and prize giveaways on the grounds, but 
the primary goal is to educate the public about cannabis and advocate 
for legalization.

"We need to step up and be responsible and report the facts," Fagin 
said. "The evidence is there, the science is there, that cannabis is 
not only a safer recreational drug than alcohol, it has many medicinal values."

He points to a 2002 Senate Special Committee On Illegal Drugs report 
that recommended the legalization of cannabis in Canada. The 600-page 
report determined marijuana is substantially less harmful than 
alcohol and should be treated as a social and public health issue, 
rather than a criminal issue.

"I get mail from kids all the time from Edmonton and Calgary, they 
want to be firefighters and doctors and nurses and they get busted 
with a little bit of cannabis because they're being indiscrete with 
it ... They get a criminal record, and they're fearful for their 
careers for the rest of their lives," Fagin said.

"We're destroying children's lives, we're tearing families apart (by) 
saying the plant is evil and that it's hurting people."

The rally officially starts at 4 p.m., and a minute of silence will 
be observed at 4:19 p.m. to remember victims of the war on drugs.
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