Medical Marijuana Use Focus Of March In Greenville

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About 300 East Carolina University students braved the heat Sunday afternoon to visit the ECU College Libertarians Freedom Festival, which incorporated a student movement's rally and march to legalize marijuana.

"We want to make people aware of N.C. House Bill 1380 or the Medical Marijuana Act," said Chelsea Burdette, a junior communication major at ECU – one of the students who started organizing the Greenville Marijuana March event on Facebook as part of the Global Marijuana March.

After encountering high costs and other obstacles in gaining permission to hold a rally in the city of Greenville, Burdette contacted the ECU College Libertarians, who helped clear the event to take place on campus.

"The ECU College Libertarians group supports all liberties; while we do not advocate the use of marijuana, we do think it should be a choice left up to the individual and not the government," said co-founder Jesse Mignona, a senior business major. He and senior Chris Munier started the group last summer.

This was the first Freedom Festival, and organizers hope it becomes an annual event.

The group did pay the $50 permit fee to the city of Greenville so participants could march from Mendenhall Student Center through the downtown area. According to Mignona, about 150-200 people marched. Mignona said there was no trouble and both ECU and Greenville police were "great to work with" in regulating the event.

Burdette said a lot of people use marijuana in a medicinal capacity.

"It's a lot safer than pills," she said. "My grandma has a really bad back and the pills make her sick. She could really use medical marijuana, but the doctor can't prescribe it to her."

Mignona said he personally does not use marijuana but supports the choice of the individual in how to lead their life.

"It didn't matter if Chelsea and the group had come to us as part of a gay rights group, a gun rights group, or a small business rights group, they would have had the support of the Libertarians," Mignona said. "We support liberty as a whole, not broken into pieces. If the government tells us how to live our lives we are not free people."

The amended version of H.B. 1380 was referred back to committees in April 2009, and a petition was distributed at Sunday's rally to support reintroducing the original version. If the legislation had passed, North Carolina would have been the 15th state to allow medicinal marijuana, Burdette said.





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Source: reflector.com
Author: Jackie Drake
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