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Activists Hold Cannabis Liberation Rally On Downtown Mall

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
A group in Charlottesville says it's time to take charge of marijuana reform.

Activists held a cannabis liberation rally on the Downtown Mall Sunday, calling for a return to the days of our Founding Fathers, when hemp and marijuana were commodities to be grown and traded, not criminalized.

The over-arching message is to break misconceptions and legalize a product that activists say will boost the country's economy, livelihood, and people's health.

"A lot of people gathered together in the name of advocacy, something positive in growth and perpetuating healing and sustainability," Lucia Williams, who took part in the rally, said.

Williams is raising her voice to support hemp farming.

"It's a plant that can literally end world hunger, from the food of the sea to the industrial aspect of hemp can literally change our lives as far as sustainability goes and getting us off of things that are not as sustainable," Williams said.

Each person at the rally brings his or her own personal story.

"I was looking at a 45-year sentence for growing marijuana here in the state of Virginia. That's worse than murder. And so that's what prompted me to try to change the law here in the state," Robert Rowley said.

Rowley owns Shirts With A Purpose clothing store on the Downtown Mall. Rowley says he'd like to go back to the days when marijuana played an integral part in Virginia's economy.

"In Virginia, you used to have to pay your taxes using marijuana and if you didn't, you would risk fine or imprisonment," Rowley said.

Activists from Virginia NORML led the group in listing the medical benefits cannabis provides, treating everything from epilepsy, Crohn's disease, and cancer to headaches or cramps.

"For a long time, there's been a misconception that marijuana was just to get you high, but it's actually saving lives," Jes Vegas, deputy director of Virginia NORML, said.

Activists want the criminalization to end.

"I see this is another way that we're being repressed and it's up to us to take charge," Shay Martin said.

They say the solution is to get people talking and actively engaging one another and their legislators.

"If we don't get together in place like this, if we don't get people involved, it's not going to change," Williams said.

People at the rally understand they face a steep hill to climb. But, they say that shouldn't deter people from writing and calling lawmakers in both Richmond and Washington, D.C.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Activists Hold Cannabis Liberation Rally On Downtown Mall
Author: Staff
Contact: 434-220-2900
Photo Credit: None Found
Website: NBC29
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