Opus at the 2012 Global Marijuana March in Toronto

Dateline, Wednesday May 2 – I stumbled out of bed with my 5am wake up call in my Granville st hotel room. I had come over to Vancouver from the Island two days prior to spend some extra time with fellow activists and my beautiful girlfriend Kimberly before heading to Toronto for the Global Marijuana March on May 5.

I arrived early at YVR and took advantage of an online coupon for half price parking in the long-term lot, $44 a week. The free shuttle bus didn’t take long at all and soon I was on my way.

Vancouver airport was not very busy this morning and after checking my luggage I grabbed a Timmy’s and headed outside to a designated smoking area to heavily medicate.

After smoking three wake’n’bake joints I figured I would head thru security and on to my gate,

This is where things got stupid – I had 150 grams of cannabis medicine with me, well under the 210 grams I can legally carry – this required five cops, a YVR representative and two TSA employees, all for my legal medication. What seemed the most problematic was that Health Canada did not and will not issue me a plastic ID card like the previous nine I have been issued, and the paper that Health Canada supplies the cops do not respect. As they told me, “It’s just a piece of paper, anyone could make up.”

I also I had to give my personal information to YVR and the cops photocopied my MMAR paperwork, which I feel is an invasion of my privacy and totally unnecessary.

If I had a nasty pharma drug on my person in its proper labelled container, like Oxycontin or Morphine, like the signs at security all say, none of this would have happened. As it was, once the cops saw that I was filming them on my iPhone it seemed to hurry them up to get me on my way. It also seemed to get a few of them to back to whatever dog they were fucking before coming over to waste time with me.

I must say that the YVR customer service rep was really nice and helpful in getting me a chair while I had to wait for the cops to finish jerking off and asked if I knew Marc Emery, to which I replied “yes”. He told me Marc’s late father was his an old teacher of his. (After checking with Jodie, it turns out this is a common mistake.) He was also the only person who took the time to apologize for the unfair treatment.

Fuck the RCMP, Canada’s national embarrassment! Kudos to YVR customer service.

Thursday – T-minus 1 day, 22 hours and 21 minutes…at least it was when I just checked the official
Toronto Global Marijuana March web site a few minutes ago, or about the time it takes to smoke a joint.

Earlier today I stopped off at Vapour Central with it’s many flat screen TVs and kick ass sound system and shared some of Vancouver Islands finest with some fellow activists and VC staff members. I highly recommend that whenever you partake of a fine cannabis establishment that you tip the staff with some good weed.

Afterwards I made my way down to Puff Mama’s Bakery where I met Joey, who is the owner, another hard-working activist, and we spoke some about plans for the upcoming march. Again I shared some more BC goodness around. Mmmmm Burmese….

T-minus 22 hours, 37 minutes and some odd seconds – Met up with Jeremiah Vandermeer, Carina Gonzalez and Jodie Emery at their hotel and then found a good place for breakfast, oddly the place we choose to eat had on the menu, under the breakfasts… ADD RUM $3.50

Rum with eggs for breakfast? Must be a Toronto thing.

From there we made our way to Kensington Market and enjoyed some fine stoner company on the ‘Potio’ of the Hot Box Café. I had to take care of some family obligations the Friday evening and left Jodie, JV and Carina to get ready for Cannabis Culture News LIVE at 7pm – a special on-location broadcast from Vapour Central and a Out-of-Towner’s dinner for the Goodwin-Gorman wedding taking place after the Global Marijuana March on Saturday.

Saturday – May 5th, 10am – arrived on site at Queen’s Park, ground zero for the march, the sun was shining and a slight was breeze blowing, still cool enough for a light coat but promising to be a fantastic day for protesting unjust laws and a fascist government.

There was a large cardboard sign at the north end of the park, the traditional starting point of the march telling people that the march would be starting at 12 Noon this year instead of the regular 2PM and nearby there were two picnic tables piled high with orange t-shirts for the volunteers and parade marshals.

About 10ish Matt Mernagh showed up with the Hash Mob, as always making an entrance, as it should be with Cannabian Flags flying and bullhorns fully charged and cranked up.

Matt did what Matt does and before long he was going about the crowd repeating instructions to the large groups of people that a) we would be marching at 2PM as always and going up University to Bloor along Bloor to Yonge and circling back to the park for the 4:20 smoke out.

One difference I noticed from all the other GMMs I’ve been to in Vancouver is the level of participation in Toronto is more geared to street theatre and mascots like Bong Man, Box Man and Herb, as well as a guy dressed in an all white suit with a white wrestling mask and a bullhorn on a pole warning us of the Manbearpig. Or for those who weren’t there: “the cops.”

Kudos to him, he was a pretty funny guy and had some balls ragging on the cops like he was.

What was missed were the vendors from past years, due to the unavailability of a permit this year. In past years there have been both food, drink and cannabis related vendors on-site, and I do hope that assbag Rob Ford is history and the festival atmosphere can return to Queen’s Park next year with stage, speakers, vendors and entertainment. Fuck Rob Ford!

The march is an amazing thing to witness, a huge throng of people leaving the park from two areas. The vehicle traffic and floats starting off on the east side of Queen’s Park on the road have to circle part way around to join the hundreds walking up from in the park and all converge in front of the Royal Ontario Museum just before turning onto Bloor St … a noisy, colourful bunch for sure, see the video for the full effect.

Once we got back to Queen’s Park we had just an hour or so to wait till 4:20, and of course everyone there – what seemed like 20,000 people – all sparked up as a single group and we got our smoke on!
I was proud to stand with so many boisterous activists and share 4:20.

Most of us who came out from BC to cover the event had to leave right after 4:20 to go get ready for Chris Goodwin’s wedding to Erin Goorman, a beautiful affair held at the Delta Chelsa Hotel in downtown Toronto. Suffice to say it was well represented by the Cannabis community and all who were there had a fine time. Once again congratulations to the newlyweds, wishing you all the best.

Monday evening I did my show Opus LIVE from Vapour Central at 7 EST time instead of the normal 3 PST time, and that still seemed to give some people problems, but we will have the show linked up at Pot TV if you didn’t get a chance to watch it.

It is very different doing the show in a large room full of people instead of a small private studio, and for certain I can say a whole lot more fun! Matt Mernagh joined me off the top and gave us an update on the fist day of court and we do seem to have the upper hand. The second half of the show, Matt Oliver from VC joined me as we gave away buds and stickers in the game, How Much Does This Bud Weigh?

That seemed to be a hit, after all, who doesn’t want a chance to win free marijuana? Shawn Brady, Dana Larson, Chris Goodwin and others all came up to comment on various topics during the show and I would like to thank everyone who part participated in our games, a bunch of good sports for sure.

I had a wonderful time in Toronto and want to thank everyone for the warm welcome wherever I went. Special thanks to Vapour Central for use of the stage and equipment to do my show, the Hot Box Café for putting up with us, Puff Mama’s Bakery for being there and turning me onto the Killin Time Band and all the people who took time out from their day to come out and stand up for marijuana – and even more importantly, stand against prohibition.

The Toronto Cannabis Community is a strong force to be reckoned with and they should all be very proud. I know I am.

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