Mainstream Media Coverage of the 2012 Global Marijuana March

Photo by Richard Lautens, Toronto StarPhoto by Richard Lautens, Toronto StarCANNABIS CULTURE - Pot-smoking protesters were out in force in nearly 200 cities around the world on May 5 for the 2012 Global Marijuana March. The mainstream press was there too; check out CC's collection of media stories.

Toronto was once again the largest, with an estimated 20,000 - 30,000 who marched through the downtown city streets with a police escort and then gathered in Queen's Park for 4/20.

The media covered protests in others cities from countries including Canada, the USA, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, South Africa, and Slovakia. See a list of this years participating cities.

More coverage of the 2012 Global Marijuana March coming soon from Cannabis Culture.

TORONTO, CANADA

Thousands participate in marijuana march
by CP24

A plume of smoke hovered above Queen's Park Saturday as an estimated 15,000 marijuana activists lit up in a coordinated act of civil disobedience.

The massive smoking session was held to mark the conclusion of the Toronto edition of the Global Marijuana March.

In its 14th year, the march is now held in more than 100 cities around the world.

"We know the majority of Canadians think marijuana should be legal, we know that all the research from the Canadian Senate down to medical studies show that marijuana prohibition causes more harm than good and with all that evidence you have to wonder why marijuana is still illegal," event organizer and marijuana activist Jodie Emery told CP24. "That's what today is about. We want to show that there are many people worldwide that want to end prohibition and it is not just the pot smokers. It's mom's, it's dad's, it's all sorts of people in society."

- Read the full article at CP24.

Global Marijuana March takes over Toronto streets
by CityNews

Pot activists took to the streets of Toronto Saturday, as part of the 14th annual Global Marijuana March.

Thousands of people took part in the event, which began at Yonge and Wellesley Streets.

From there the rally marched along, ending up at the lawn of Queen’s Park. It was organized for cannabis enthusiasts and those in support of legalization.

“I’ve never seen anybody pass a joint around and get in a fight,” said Art.

- Read the full article at CityNews.

Marijuana marchers take to the streets
by CBC News

Toronto is sometimes called the big smoke but that took on a different meaning on Saturday as thousands gathered downtown for a weed walk.

It's called the Global Marijuana March, and it created some major traffic disruptions for drivers in the downtown core. Parts of University, Bloor, Yonge and even Church street were all closed for part of the afternoon.

Organizers of the event say the march is a celebration of what they call cannabis culture.

- Read the full article at CBC News.

PHOTOS: Global Marijuana March in Toronto
by Toronto Star

The event mascot is seen in among some of the 15,000 people who came out to Queen's Park Sunday to take part in the 14th annual Global Marijuana March.

- Read the full article at Toronto Star.

Marijuana Marchers Fight for Their Right to Party
by Torontoist

Roughly 20,000 people, ranging from cheerful stoners to concerned activists, took to the streets Saturday to protest the continued prohibition of marijuana at the Toronto Global Marijuana March.

The Marijuana March happens just two weeks after another major marijuana protest, the annual April 20 4:20 smoke-in at Yonge-Dundas Square.

The 4:20 protest may have a more easily remembered brand, but Marijuana March co-organizer Gabe Simms points out that, in Toronto, his event is both older (this year’s march was the 14th annual) and more integrated with the international decriminalization movement.

- Read the full article at Torontoist.

High times in Toronto
by Toronto Sun

High times came to the streets of Toronto Saturday.

Thousands of young people gathered downtown as part of a global marijuana march calling for the drug to be decriminalized.

About 3,000 people took part in the mass action that wound its way along Bloor, Yonge St., and Gerrard Sts. before ending up at Queen’s Park, where it started.

The smell of marijuana was thick in the air from users as vendors pushed hemp and other goodies that were for sale.

Aaron, 20, who had a large water pipe, said he’s supporting the decriminalization of pot.

“Its only a matter of time before this is legalized,” Aaron said. “I am here to show my support for the cause.”

Austin Chadwick, 17, of Markham, said joined the parade with many of his friends.

“My first priority is the decriminalization of pot,” Chadwick said. “Many people are arrested and jailed because of this.”

- Read the full article at Toronto Sun.

2012 Global Marijuana March
by Toronto Sun

The 14th Annual Toronto Global Marijuana March took place on the streets of the downtown core on Saturday, May 5, 2012. [See photos]

- Read the full article at Toronto Sun.

MONTREAL, CANADA

Marijuana demonstration rolls through Plateau
by CTV News

MONTREAL — Montreal's 14th annual marijuana march gets rolling at 1 p.m. Saturday, as organizers take aim at the burning issue of federal Conservative Party policies that could increase penalties on cannabis lovers.

The demonstration begins at Saint-Louis Square on St. Denis at 1:00 p.m. and continues about 1.5 kilometers to Parc des Ameriques at Rachel and the Main where a jointly-held show takes the stage from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Similar marches are taking place in cities around the world Saturday and while the local version follows the same path as last year's event, the issues at hand are slightly different.

Marc-Boris St-Maurice, who leads the Compassion Club and the Marijuana Foundation, denounced Prime Minister Stephen Harper's mandatory minimum policy for possession of cannabis as a "step backwards."

He said that minimum sentences have not lead to a decrease in marijuana consumption in the United States.

"You can't help people suffering from substance issues by treating them like criminals," he said.

- Read the full article at CBC News.

HALIFAX, CANADA

Dozens march for medical marijuana in Halifax
by CBC News

Nearly 60 supporters of medical marijuana marched through downtown Halifax Saturday as part of a global campaign to promote easier access to the drug.

Users in the Maritimes say they want the right to grow it rather than buy it from the government.

"I was diagnosed 12 years ago with MS and pharmaceuticals basically assaulted my system," said Debbie Stultz-Giffin. "Cannabis is the only medicine I consume on a daily basis."

Stultz-Giffin, and other protesters, say it's time the federal government ease restrictions on access to marijuana prescribed by doctors.

"No one has died from Cannabis in 5,000 years! These people want to use it for quality of life," said Bob Dillman.

- Read the full article at CBC News.

CALGARY, CANADA

Activists take one toke over the line
by Dave Dormer, Calgary Sun

The pungent smell of marijuana wafted over city hall Saturday afternoon as protesters gathered to call for the drug’s legalization.

Despite snow, a cold wind and near freezing temperatures, about 70 people rallied downtown as part of the annual Global Marijuana March, held in some 300 cities around the world, with a few local protesters surreptitiously toking from pipes.

Turnout was down from the several-hundred strong pro-pot crowds that have gathered in years past, but despite the smaller number this year, organizer Keith Fagin said the group’s message is resonating in society, albeit slowly.

“Down in Colombia recently (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper actually said ‘yeah I realize (the war on drugs) is not working’ and we’ve never heard him say things like that,” said Fagin, who heads Calgary 420 Cannabis Community,

“And now we’ve got a lot members who are non-consumers and they tend to speak out more.”

- Read the full article at Calgary Sun.

NEW YORK, USA

Photos: Cannabis March In Marijuana Arrest Capital Of The World
by Gothamist

Marijuana enthusiasts, activists, and those who just feel like people of color shouldn't be persecuted for possessing a plant that does substantially less harm than many legal drugs marched from Washington Square Park to Union Square yesterday afternoon. According to photographer Jim Kiernan, rappers Immortal Technique (his second appearance in a week in Union Square) and King David performed and "Ganja Granny" Arlene Williams as well as a representative from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition spoke. We also spotted marijuana activist and John Lennon pal David Peel in the crowd.

- Read the full article and see photos at Gothamist.

DETROIT, USA

Marijuana march in Detroit aims to get legalization question on November ballot
by Detroit Free Press

As thousands of Tiger baseball fans streamed through downtown Detroit’s Grand Circus Park on their way to today’s game this afternoon, some spied a gathering of about 200 people on the east side of the park.

And some stopped to sign petitions to legalize marijuana, said John Landino, 56, of Eastpointe, part of Detroit’s 12th-annual Marijuana March, noon-6 p.m. today. Supporters of medical uses for the drug joined with those who want it legalized for recreational and other uses at the event, said Landino. He’s a medical-marijuana user who has a deteriorating spine, he said.

Tiger fans from Oakland, Macomb and Kent counties signed his petitions, he said. The petitions are aimed at getting a legalization question on November ballots. Volunteers must gather about 323,000 signatures by early July, the Michigan Secretary of State’s office has said.

“This is a good thing for educating the public,” Detroiter Tim Beck said at 3:15 p.m., after addressing the crowd through a microphone borrowed from a rock band that had been playing.

- Read the full article at Detroit Free Press.

DALLAS, TEXAS

Slideshow: Dallas LP at Cinco de Mota
by Examiner

While most Libertarian Party activists made the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the national party's convention (where Gary Johnson was officially anointed on C-SPAN as its presidential candidate) a small contingent of Dallas County LP diehards stayed behind to staff an information booth at the Cinco de Mota marijuana rally in Big D.

View slideshow: Dallas Libertarians at Cinco de Mota
The Libertarians pitched their tent early and offered an impressive array of newly developed outreach literature, including business cards, information flyers and posters, to freedom-seeking festivalgoers.

Saturday, May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, was a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but The Global Marijuana March was scheduled for the same day. Since "mota" is Latin American Spanish Slang for "weed," the DFW NORML people cleverly tagged their fiesta in Dallas City Hall Plaza as Cinco de Mota.

- Read the full article at Examiner.

MADISON, WISCONSIN

Madison Global Cannabis Freedom March fights for medical marijuana legalization
by Meghan Zernick, The Badger Herald

A small group of medicinal marijuana supporters marched from the Capitol steps Saturday to generate support for a bill that would legalize medical cannabis in Wisconsin.

The Madison Global Cannabis Freedom March ended at the Mifflin Street Block Party and was a part of a nationwide march sponsored by the National Organization of the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an organization trying to legalize medical cannabis in all 50 states.

The turnout for the rally was less than expected. Six individuals were present at the Capitol in order to support the legalization of medical cannabis. The activists began to disperse and then later regrouped and marched down State Street, joined along the way by an additional 20 marchers.

- Read the full article at The Badger Herald.

LATIN AMERICA

In pictures: Global marijuana march
by BBC News

Thousands of people have joined protests in cities across Latin America to demand the legalisation of marijuana.

- Read the full article at BBC News.

SANTIAGO, CHILE

Global Marijuana March
by UPI.com

Photos from the the 8th Global Marijuana March in Santiago, Chile. The annual march which takes place in major cities around the world is a celebration embracing cannabis culture and aims to spur debates and conversations on reforming local drug policies.

- Read the full article at UPI.com.

Marijuana fans hold mass rally in Chile
by AFP

Marijuana fans celebrated this Saturday the 2012 Global Marijuana March, an annual celebration devoted to the plant. Thousands of people attended a marijuana rally in Santiago, Chile, as part of the worldwide demonstrations that call for the legalization of the drug.

- Watch the video at AFP.

VALPARISO, CHILE

Marijuana activists march with a banner reading: "Legalization" in Valparaiso city
by Reuters Alertnet

Marijuana activists march with a banner reading: "Legalization" in Valparaiso city, about 121 km (75 miles) northwest of Santiago, May 5, 2012. Activists in Buenos Aires and Santiago marched on Saturday to demand the legalisation of marijuana. The marchers say homegrown pot cuts back on the ills of drug trafficking and lets consumers know exactly what they are smoking.

- Read the full article at Reuters Alertnet.

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA

Cancellation of Global Marijuana March in Costa Rica Due to Moles
by Costa Rica Star

Everything was set for “Cannmbio”, a group that seeks the legalization of cultivation and personal use of marijuana in Costa Rica, to join in the 2012 Global Marijuana March in solidarity with hundreds of like-minded organizations around the world. The rally was called off, however, at the last minute.

According to digital newspaper Costa Rica Hoy, the rally was canceled due to the discovery of individuals who had infiltrated the pro-marijuana movement with disruption in mind. The march was originally planned to assemble on May 5th at 10:00 am. Sympathizers were going to meet in San Jose, at the Plaza de la Cultura, and then march en masse to one of the downtown parks to continue their demonstration until 4:00 pm. These plans were quickly abandoned at the eleventh hour when the organizing committee stated that moles came forward and threatened the integrity of the rally.

Speaking to Costa Rica Hoy, Diego Grosscors -the leader of Cannmbio- explained that:

“We decided to suspend the protest to maintain the safety and integrity of our supporters. We are pacifists and don’t want to be taunted, nor do we want to incite violence.”

- Read the full article at Costa Rica Star.

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA

A man smokes marijuana during a demonstration supporting the legalization of marijuana in Guatemala City
by Reuters Alertnet

A man smokes marijuana during a demonstration supporting the legalization of marijuana in Guatemala City, May 5, 2012. Participants who organized the event as part of the 2012 Global Marijuana March, say homegrown pot cuts back on the ills of drug trafficking and lets consumers know exactly what they are smoking.

- Read the full article at Reuters Alertnet.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Marchers call for legal dagga
by The New Age

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Cape Town at the weekend demanding the legalisation of marijuana.

Led by the Dagga Party, the colourfully dressed protesters of all races marched from the Grand Parade in the city centre to the Cape Peninsula University Technology in District Six.

Cheered on by motorists who blew their horns, the protesters held placards bearing messages such as "Ganja is the healing of the nation" and "Legalise dagga".

Some people smoked the drug openly while shouting out that it should be legalised. Dagga Party leader Jeremy David Acton said the march was meant to show solidarity and pride in the diverse communities that smoke marijuana and was part of a global campaign for legalising the drug.

A wheelchair-bound man, aged 27, who was part of the march, said: "I might not be able to walk but I will stand up for my right to smoke."

- Read the full article at The New Age.

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA

Marijuana march
by The Sydney Morning Herald

Thousands of Czechs and Slovaks have demonstrated for the decriminalisation of marijuana and other cannabis products.

Gathering under the slogan Million Marijuana March - a play on the 1995 Million Man March in Washington DC - 7000 protesters sought to open a discussion over the criminalisation and stigmatisation of cannabis products, leaders of the protests said.

''It's absurd that imported marijuana or that produced in licensed laboratories is used in clinical medicine as a legal healing product, yet every patient or retired person who wants to cultivate a little on their own is harshly punished,'' a protest spokesman said.

- Read the full article at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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