CANNABIS CULTURE – On May 2, marchers in 263 cities will take to the streets to celebrate cannabis and demand an end to marijuana prohibition for the Global Marijuana March of 2009.
The annual event, also known as the Million Marijuana March and other various names around the world, is a commemoration of cannabis culture, where pot lovers gather as a peaceful show of force for the marijuana movement – to discuss ideas, educate the public, and call for an end to the Global Drug War.
Since its beginnings in 1999, between around 500 countries (estimates vary) have participated in the event. Click here to find out if your city is included this year.
In Vancouver, thousands of legalization activists will march from downtown to the Liberal Party of Canada convention at the waterfront. Participants will meet at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 12pm. The March starts at 2pm and will be escorted by the Vancouver Police Department. The route takes the march down Georgia and Burrard Streets to the new Convention Centre plaza at Thurlow and Canada Place.
“We are marching to demand the Liberal Party and it’s new leader heed the overwhelming scientific evidence and vote no on Bill C-15” said Vancouver organizer Jacob Hunter. “The United States is currently repealing its mandatory minimum sentencing laws because the laws are an expensive and unmitigated failure. Why would the Liberals ignore the US experience and help pass C-15?”
Bill C-15 establishes mandatory minimum sentences for a host of drug offences, including 6 months for growing a single marijuana plant. The Bill has been widely opposed by researchers, criminologists, policy experts and civil rights leaders. Despite this, the Conservative Party has continued to advocate for C-15 as part of its self described ‘tough on crime’ program.
“Mr. Ignatieff and the Liberal Party have a real opportunity to connect with Canadians, more than half of whom want to end marijuana prohibition”, continued Hunter, “We need to tax and regulate marijuana to ensure that it is grown safely, sold only to adults, and that the profits go to government, not gangsters”.
Below is a sample of news articles about the 2009 Global Marijuana March.
A celebration of personal choices
from the Eye Weekly.
The official herbal holiday, April 20 (known in some circles as 4/20 Day), has come and gone, but the city’s biggest celebration of personal freedom is upon us this weekend with the third annual Toronto Freedom Festival.
While the Freedom Festival’s flagship event is the May 2 Global Marijuana March, it’s not specifically a pot party. More than anything, it’s a celebration of the freedom to make lifestyle choices and the willingness to accept responsibility for those choices. Festival organizers Gavin “The Gerbz” Bryers and Neev Tapiro explain that the idea was to create an event that the city could get behind in order to stimulate the public discussion about drug-law reforms.
Since its inception, Freedom Fest has grown to being one of the largest free spring festivals in the city. And though it’s still operating without any kind of government funding, the fact that they held the launch party right in the heart of downtown shows that at least some councillors — like festival supporter Kyle Rae — are on board with the tolerant atmosphere. Bryers hopes that this year the festival will bring out enough people that it will be impossible to ignore.
The lineup should serve this purpose rather well. On the main stage, performers like Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre’s DJ Jam, Spookey Ruben and Juno winner Humble will follow in the footsteps of previous years’ breakout acts like USS and Down With Webster. Legendary Toronto DJ Kenny Glasgow is one of the many acts to grace the electronic music stage and EYE WEEKLY’s own Voices of Freedom speaker stage plays host to the one and only “Prince of Pot,” Marc Emery, Alison Myrden from the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, as well as a poetry slam. This year also features a film component, called F3, where a program of short films and a special screening of Ron Mann’s Know Your Mushrooms will be playing at 5pm.
And, of course, the big draw is hanging out in the northern half of Queen’s Park for an afternoon among a freedom-loving crowd — or as the cartoon version of Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog once said, “That and getting toasted, nicely toasted.”
For more Freedom Festival coverage, go to www.eyeweekly.com/torontofreedomfestival.
Montreal Marijuana Global March Saturday May 9th, 2009
MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Marijuana Fondation is proud to present you the Montreal 2009’s edition of the global marijuana march.
Bass ma boom sound system and many others artist will animated the event around the metro sherbrooke and carre ST LOUIS at NOON. At 2 pm the parade will go on the plateau and come back to the square ST LOUIS.
At 4pm Mononc’ Serge et Anonymus will finish the green march!
Global Marijuana March Boston, May 2nd, 2009
Global Marijuana Boston March
Boston, MA, JFK Building, (State Street or Govt. Center on MBTA Subway)
Bring signs and cameras! And say hi to me (Mike Cann), I’ll be there recording and will have some MikeCann.net pins for anybody who shows up to this!
Our plan is to meet outside the JFK Federal Building on Congress St. in Boston before 4:00 p.m. on May 2nd. We will begin marching at 4:00, and rally at the Samuel Adams statue outside of Faneuil Hall at 4:20. We will then parade through Quincy Market and vicinity, until people decide to go on to other things. Bright clothing (weather appropriate), signs (some will be provided, but feel free to bring your own–with LARGE lettering so it may be seen from 50 feet away), and props (giant joints) all add to the march.
In Boston on May 2, the date of the Global Marijuana March, the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann/NORML) will be rallying at the statue of Samuel Adams at Quincy Market in Boston at 4:20 p.m.
At that time, MassCann/NORML president, Dr. Keith Saunders, will possess a small sample of marijuana, in defiance of state law. He expects Boston police will take notice. “Possession of any amount of marijuana in Massachusetts is against the law, and subject to the $100 civil fine that 65% of voters approved of last November.”
There is no evidence of an increase in marijuana use since 2008’s question 2 took effect in early January 2009.
Chronic City: Goin’ To A Party, Party — Global Marijuana March 2009
Got plans for this weekend? Well, cancel ’em. Have I got a party for you!
It’s time, once again, for the Global Marijuana March, a worldwide event held the first Saturday in May since 2005. An estimated 15,000 revelers are expected to attend the San Francisco edition, which has been a time-honored tradition here for 15 years, predating the global event by more than a decade.
Sure, mainstream media might give you the impression that grassroots (see what I did there?) street activism of the sort represented by the Marijuana March is a thing of the past — and certainly, counterculture protests and demonstrations are a proud and storied part of our history in the City on the Bay.
But the marijuana legalization movement is stronger than ever. A solid majority of Californians (and an even larger majority of San Franciscans) now support removing all criminal penalties for the herb, and cannabis activists have momentum on their side according to almost any knowledgeable observer of the scene.
If you’ve ever attended a pot rally, I don’t have to tell you what a positive rush such a gathering of the kind tribes can bring. There’s nothing like a group of like-minded hempsters united by a common purpose to put a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a buzz in your brain. If this will be your first time, don’t worry — you won’t find a gentler, friendlier, more mellow crowd anywhere.
Marijuana march Saturday in Palm Springs
from The Desert Sun
An organizer of Million Marijuana March events and her supporters are headed back to Palm Springs.
Aurora Maldonado plans to conduct a march Saturday to celebrate marijuana and protest its prohibition, according to a press release. She organized a similar march last year in Palm Springs.
“It’s all about liberating marijuana,” Maldonado said in the release. “Marijuana is good medicine for a lot of people and it is time to stop arresting people for using this harmless plant and that’s what the march is all about.”
Marchers will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the parking structure at Baristo Road and Indian Canyon Drive and march through downtown. They will chant, wave signs, hand out information about marijuana and encourage people to speak to elected officials about ending its prohibition.
Maldonado, who grew up in Desert Hot Springs, was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia. She said using marijuana, as well as her faith in God, helped relieve the side effects of chemotherapy.
“I don’t think I should be labeled as a criminal because I take a medication that helps me,” she said.
Eugene mayor plans appearance at pot rally
from the Associated Press
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy has set pro-pot Web sites buzzing with her decision to attend the Global Marijuana March rally here on Saturday.
Piercy will issue a formal declaration marking April 30 through May 6 as “Medical Marijuana Awareness Week.”
But the mayor says her appearance at the rally is hardly an endorsement of legalizing marijuana.
Piercy told The Register-Guard newspaper that she’s not offering any opinion on marijuana – only her support for its legal use as part of medical treatment.
She said a 57-year-old rheumatoid arthritis patient forced to use a wheelchair convinced her to offer some public support for medical marijuana.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com