Canada Day Finds Christians, Cannabis Together On Commons

Cannabis lovers and Christians celebrated together at the Dartmouth Commons
Monday, but their messages weren't exactly in harmony.

It's the second year the two groups have shared the same locale for their
Canada Day celebrations.

The pot smokers are there for Cannabis Day, the churchgoers are there for
Christian patriotism.

"We want to bring the Christian communities together, we need to
participate more than we have been," said Pastor George Campbell of the New
Life Church in Dartmouth. "We believe this country was founded upon the
principles of the Bible and we should be more patriotic."

The two groups pretty much kept to themselves, though it seems some
weed-smokers ended up with the munchies. "We're really selling a lot of
hotdogs," Campbell laughed. "Somebody's hungry."

But the money goes to a good cause -- it helps send kids to summer camp.

Rain drove the Christian celebrants home early. Slightly more than a dozen
remained by mid-afternoon. Campbell said it was too dangerous for the nine
scheduled gospel groups and their electric equipment to keep going in the
wet weather.

But hundreds mellowed out at the top of the hill, unaffected by sporadic

"I like to smoke pot," Greg stated simply, and that's why he showed up.

"It's a great opportunity to smoke pot in public, just to show everybody
that it should be legal, it doesn't hurt anybody," said 22-year-old Matt,
as he drew on a marijuana cigarette. "Drunks cause a lot more problems than
we do."

Indeed, the whole event was quite laid back. Groups of young people
leisurely played hacky-sack or kicked a soccer ball around. Others lounged
under trees chatting or playing music.

Matt said he believes public attitudes toward pot are changing, that it's
becoming more acceptable. "I'm really for decriminalization as opposed to
legalizing, because if it gets legalized government gets its hands on it,
and they start taxing it just like everything else."

"If it wasn't somewhat publically accepted, today wouldn't happen, this
would not be available to us," drawled 21-year-old Melissa, sporting a hemp

This was her first cannabis day. "I moved to Halifax last summer, I'm still
here and this is an awesome place to be right now. Like, it's a good time.
People chilling all over the place. I love the dogs."


Pubdate: Tue, 02 Jul 2002
Source: Daily News, The (CN NS)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily News
Author: Beverley Ware, of The Daily News
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)