A crowd of four to five hundred people gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to share a one-ounce joint with Marc Emery as he delivered a message of pot freedom to Canada’s politicians on Thursday.
As Emery explained before the protest, his message can be boiled down to “Marijuana is legal, let’s keep it that way.” He asked protestors to bring signs to that effect and wasn’t dissappointed when he showed up on parliament’s front steps to find many carrying caringly-crafted home-made protest signs emblazoned with his message. The support of the crowd was tremendous.
Emery’s point is that because of recent court decisions in Ontario, PEI, Nova Scotia and BC – which found possession laws defunct, invalid and non-existent – the new so-called decriminalization law will be a step backwards. Especially since hidden within the new law are provisions to double jail time for growers and no clear agenda to stop giving criminal records for small possession offences.
As Emery explained the hard facts to onlookers, and the hour closed on 4:20 PM, the crowd swelled. The massive bomber that he had waved around during an exhilarating round of speechmaking had caught the attention of his audience, which pressed so closely that it is doubtful a cop could have penetrated the throng.
Luckily, no cop tried. Not a single arrest marred what one bystander called a “perfect afternoon for a historic event.”
Ottawa was the last scheduled stop on Emery’s “Summer of Legalization Tour,” during which he smoked out 19 cities, mostly holding protests on the front steps of police stations nationwide.