Pubdate: Thu, 21 Apr 2016
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Page: A1
Copyright: 2016 Brantford Expositor
Author: Vincent Ball


The legalization of marijuana may sound like a good thing but Calvin
Reese, of the Brantford Cannabis Club, is taking a wait-and-see
approach to the federal government's plans.

"Just wait man, just wait. It's going be just like big pharma all over
again," Reese said Wednesday during the annual 4/20 pro-marijuana
rally in Victoria Park.

"It will be restrictive and dominated by big pharmaceutical companies
and the little guy - the guy who just wants to grow it, who needs it -
is going to get squeezed out.

"I want legislation that is going to help the people who need and make
sure they can get it. I don't want it to be dominated by the big

He said there is a lot of therapeutic value derived from growing
marijuana and he doesn't want to see the ability of individuals to
grow their own taken away by federal laws.

The rally was held on the same day that federal Health Minister Jane
Philpott said legislation to legalize marijuana will be ready next

Philpott told a special session of the United Nations General Assembly
in New York that legislation that keeps marijuana out of the hands of
children and profits out of the hands of criminals will be introduced
in the spring 2017. Chris Mills, also a cannabis club member, said he
isn't overly impressed with the federal government's plan. "We'll
see," he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the power to save a lot of lives
with the legalization of marijuana, said Mills, adding that there is
no need to put people in prison over a plant.

The 4/20 rally attracted about 200 people, about the same as last

Participants enjoyed live music and talked in small

The event is as much about education as it is about pushing for
changes to marijuana laws, said Reese, adding that the rally also is a
way of showing that the people who use marijuana are as much a part of
the community as anyone else.

"There are a lot of really good people here," Mills said. "They're
people who help out others and contribute to their community. They are
not lazy stoners who've got nothing better to do."

Organizers gathered donations of canned food that will go to the
Brantford food bank and collected used clothing, which will be turned
over to Friendship House on Grey Street.

Organizers emphasized that they do not condone the use of cannabis by
minors unless directed by a medical professional.

The term "4/20" has become the internationally recognized date (fourth
month/20th day) for pro-marijuana rallies. Participants all light up a
joint or marijuana cigarette at 4:20 p.m.

Police in Brantford have never interfered with the

Growing, possessing and consuming marijuana remains illegal in Canada,
however, it can be prescribed by doctors for medicinal use. As well,
the federal government has a procedure that enables companies to get a
licence to grow marijuana to supply a growing medical need. 
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