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Don't Expect Nicholson At Marijuana Rally

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Regent Labbe "most definitely" wants federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to show up at next week's pro-marijuana 420 Rally 2011 march in Niagara Falls.

"If he wants to come and defend his position on the matter, he's more than welcome," said Labbe, the organizer for this year's rally, set to take place Wednesday at the corner of Hwy. 420 and Victoria Ave.

Reached by phone, Nicholson said the pro-pot rally isn't high on his list of priorities.

"I'm going to be spending my time with my constituents here on the campaign trail," Nicholson said. "Again, anybody is entitled to protest or anything else if they want, but our position is very clear. We're not the party to decriminalize marijuana."

Labbe wasn't surprised with Nicholson's response and that he wasn't going to begrudge the minister's decision either.

"It's honestly understandable," Labbe said. "He is in the middle of an election campaign. It's nothing to hold against the guy. If he's not for it, he's not for it, it's his personal choice."

Labbe said he's a "proud" pot smoker who said he uses medicinal marijuana to alleviate pain from injuries he suffered from a childhood fall and from being hit by a car about six years ago. He said he spends $300 on weed a month.

"If I were to rank it on a scale of one to 10, on days that I don't smoke, I'm looking at about an eight in pain," Labbe said. "On days that I do smoke, I'm looking at about a one and a half."

For those unfamiliar with marijuana culture, the term 420 has become in recent years a popular euphemism for pot.

But because Hwy. 420 runs through the Falls, local marijuana users have for years incorporated the local highway into their annual rally by gathering at its intersection with Victoria Ave.

After a disorganized event last year in which nobody assumed the lead role, Labbe, 23, who lives in Welland, took the reins this year.

The point of the rally, which begins at 1 p.m. and runs until 5 p.m., is to "educate the public on the harms of cannabis prohibition, to decriminalize it, and also to free Marc Emery," according to the event's Facebook page.

Emery is a well-known Canadian marjiuana activist who is currently serving five years in a US prison for selling cannabis seeds.

Labbe said the Monday court decision that declared part of the federal government's medicinal marijuana program unconstitutional will inspire a larger turnout this year than in years past.

"Honestly, I think it should bring us quite the turnout. We're one step closer to legalization," Labbe said.

As for Nicholson, he said he hadn't yet received a formal invite but wasn't about to adjust his schedule to make time for the rally anyway.

"I appreciate that but I'm in the middle of a campaign," Nicholson said. "And I spend as much time as possible with the residents of Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake."

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Niagara Falls Review, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2011 Osprey Media Group Inc.
Contact: Niagara Falls Review
Website: Niagara Falls Review - Ontario, CA
Details: MAP: Media Directory
Author: Brett Clarkson
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