Pubdate: Mon, 23 Mar 2015
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Brantford Expositor
Author: Susan Gamble
Page: A5

'More people behind' 420 rally

Organizers are planning for the second annual Brantford 420 Rally on
April 20 to be bigger than last year's event.

The time of 4:20 and the date of April 20 are associated with
marijuana use. This year's rally falls on a Monday. The inaugural
event was held on a Sunday.

"It was a hit last year but, with it not being on a weekend, we're not
sure how many will be there," said Mike Dinsmore, one of the rally's
organizers from the Brantford Cannabis Club.

"But we definitely have more people behind it, more politicians and
local groups involved and more donations for our giveaways."

On Facebook, almost 300 people have responded to the event's
invitation indicating they'll be there.

The rally will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at downtown Victoria Park. It
will include speeches, vendors, live entertainment and prizes. It's
aimed at pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana and to help
educate people about the plant.

Musicians Harbour and Chris Strei will perform.

"It's a peaceful day and everyone seems to like it," said Dinsmore.
"The cops know there isn't going to be any trouble on 4-20."

Last year's event drew hundreds of people and featured a traditional
"light-up" at 4:20 p.m.

Dinsmore said the municipality "can't legally give us a permit to
meet" in Victoria Park. "But it's a free park."

Dinsmore said that he doesn't encourage young children to smoke

"I don't think kids are going to get brain damage but I don't think
they should be doing it. We're all about educating teens."

Dinsmore said the only arrest that area 420 rallies have seen was a
young kid with an overly large joint who was ticketed in Kitchener.

The event is also supporting Brantford's Self-Help Addiction Resource
Centre, or SHARC, by asking for donations of a non-perishable food
item. Donations of food or cash will earn a ticket for the door prizes.

"We've had a lot of support from medical users who have proved a lot
of points about recreational use of pot," Dinsmore said.

"We really want to help break the stereotype about pot users being
lazy unmotivated bums who smoke up all day. We're regular people with
regular jobs and we're active members of society."
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