Lighting Up a Joint for Cannabian Day 

Lighting Up a Joint for Cannabian Day 
Posted by CN Staff on August 31, 2003 at 08:47:54 PT
By Michael Lightstone, Staff Reporter
Source: Halifax Herald 
It was a cloudy Saturday in the park - the band played Jimi Hendrix, people tossed around a Frisbee, smokers inhaled pot and there were plenty of munchies to snack on. For the leader of the Marijuana Party of Canada, Saturday's cannabis-awareness day at the Halifax Common was a time to celebrate. "I guess it's the marijuana equivalent of gay pride - come out of the closet and show that you support ending marijuana prohibition and enjoy cannabis," said Marc-Boris St-Maurice. 
About 25 people were on the Common for the early part of a six-hour event called Cannabian Day, a marijuana love-in held in several communities across Canada. Mr. St-Maurice, a 34-year-old Montrealer and former rock bassist, said times have changed since marijuana use was strictly taboo. "We've come a long way," he said, a few minutes before sitting down to roll and then smoke a joint. "Five years ago, it may have been almost unthinkable to have a (public) stage and a sound system and . . . marijuana - God, the cops will stop you before you step foot in the park. "We've now come to a point where I think it's hard to deny pot smokers as being a legitimate constituency and as people who have rights." The reefer rally attracted local entrepreneurs hoping to hook potential customers assembled on a basketball court. Among items for sale: a 1.5-metre-high bong costing $125, small smoking kits, pipes made in British Columbia and a $26 hidden wall safe that fits behind a fake electrical outlet. Organizer Mike Stackhouse, of Dartmouth, said Ottawa should forget about decriminalizing pot use and legalize the drug. "The laws regarding cannabis should just be dropped," he said. A Halifax Regional Police spokesman said officers weren't instructed to check out the Cannabian Day party. "For us, it was a non-issue," said Sgt. David Reynolds. The Chretien government intends to change the law and relax legal penalties for pot users. Police agencies strongly oppose the move, and a new national organization has publicly urged Parliament to back away from the plan. The 54,000-member Canadian Professional Police Association says soft pot laws will lead to family problems, unsafe communties and more profits for organized crime. Solicitor General Wayne Easter has said Ottawa knows that enforcement of anti-marijuana laws and court sentences aren't uniform. But under the proposed legislation, he told a recent police conference in Halifax, "we'll bring some uniformity and consistency for laws across the country and we hope that the law enforcement community will act on those laws." Though Mr. St-Maurice refused to say how long he's been using cannabis, he acknowledged he has a marijuana-related criminal record stretching back to his teens. Single and childless, the articulate pot politician is not averse to dispensing some parental-sounding advice with a little largesse. Asked by a man in the park for spare change, Mr. St-Maurice found that he had none and instead gave him a $10 bill. "It's your lucky day," he told the grateful panhandler. "Don't spend it all on drugs." Note: National Marijuana Party leader in N.S. to celebrate.Source: Halifax Herald (CN NS)Author: Michael Lightstone, Staff ReporterPublished: Sunday, August 31, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Halifax Herald LimitedContact: letters herald.ns.caWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Marijuana Party of Canada News Canadian Links Power To Police: MADD Laws Ban Possession of Marijuana
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on September 07, 2003 at 09:52:10 PT
The Canadian Police Association's claim = B.S.
CN NS: PUB LTE: Results UnlikelyURL:
Newshawk: CMAP ( )
 Pubdate: Sun, 07 Sep 2003
Source: Halifax Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2003 The Halifax Herald Limited
Contact: letters
Author: Stan White
Referenced: UNLIKELY I enviously enjoyed reading "Lighting up a joint for Cannabian Day" ( The Sunday Herald, Aug. 31 ), until I got to the BS. The Canadian Police Association's claim that soft pot laws will "lead to family problems, unsafe communities and more profits for organized crime" is unlikely, considering those are the effects of the current cannabis prohibition, and are more likely to be alleviated once cannabis is decriminalized, and completely eliminated if Canada heeds the Canadian Senate's unanimous recommendation to fully re-legalize cannabis. The pre-eminent example is the original prohibition and how it financed Al Capone; but once prohibition ended, so, too, did the organized crime funding from prohibition. The sequel to prohibition will surely react the same. Caging humans for responsible use of a plant, however, does lead to numerous family problems, unsafe streets and profits for organized crime. Stan White, Dillon, Col.  
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