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Pot Smokers Light Up At Queen's Park For Rally

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Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
Thousands of pot smokers lit up near the Ontario legislature Saturday afternoon, for the 12th annual Toronto Global Marijuana March.

The crowd initially gathered at Queen's Park, and was estimated to be as high as 40,000 in number.

Some of those who took part told CTV Toronto that they were there "just to smoke weed," but others said they were trying to send a message.

So many people lit up that there was a noticeable haze in the park.

In fact, many of those who took part are self-described pot activists who want to see Ottawa decriminalize the drug.

Gavin Gerbz, co-founder of the Toronto Freedom Festival, said that stopping the prohibition on pot should be a no-brainer for legislators.

"I think the conversation of decriminalizing marijuana is more than ever relative, and we're really looking forward to the upcoming federal election next year," said Gerbz.

Organizers said this year's turnout was about 30 per cent higher than next year.

Other attendees said that smoking pot shouldn't be illegal, as both cigarettes and alcohol are legal.

While the police reaction to the rally was reserved, the demonstration comes about a month after officers stormed a local pot club.

On March 31, police stormed the headquarters of Cannabis As Living Medicine (CALM), which is among the city's oldest medical marijuana clubs.

During the raid, police laid charges and seized pot.

Now, many clients who use the drug for legitimate health reasons say that they have been left without their preferred treatment, said demonstrator Neev Tapiero.

He explained that for many cancer patients, smoking marijuana fights off nausea and helps rehabilitate patients.

"I've seen people turn their lives around," said Tapiero, who helped run CALM.

More than 300 similar rallies were taking across the globe Saturday.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: CTV News
Contact: CTV News
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Website: Pot smokers light up at Queen's Park for rally