Thousands Attend Marijuana Rally
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Thousands Attend Marijuana Rally
Posted by CN Staff on September 20, 2010 at 14:03:19 PT
By Christopher J. Girard, Globe Correspondent
Source: Boston Globe
Boston, MA -- Thousands swarmed Boston Common yesterday afternoon, participating — to various degrees — in a rally advocating legalization of marijuana that featured live music and speakers, including Green-Rainbow gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein.The 21st Annual Boston Freedom Rally, sponsored by MassCann, the state’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, was the second since the loosening of Massachusetts marijuana laws in January 2009.
The new law makes possession of up to an ounce of the drug punishable only by confiscation and a $100 fine. Under the former law, violators faced up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, and the listing of the offense on their criminal record.MassCann and some attendees said yesterday that the relaxed penalties, approved by voters in 2008, are a step in the right direction, but that the state’s laws still demonize what they see as a benign and healing substance.Park rangers and Boston police were on the scene, with much of the Charles Street side of the Common reserved for police parking.Two people were arrested for possession with intent to distribute Class D marijuana and 34 civil citations were issued for possession of marijuana, said police spokesman Eddy Chrispin. Otherwise, there were no other reported crimes and the rally was orderly, Chrispin said.Frank Capone of Medford, a member of MassCann’s board of directors, said the crowds at the rally were diverse.“There are businesspeople here today, and there are moms and dads,’’ said Capone, 25, who was registering people to vote. “They’re all saying they don’t want to be called criminals anymore.’’Cher Kore, who was roaming the Common collecting donations for MassCann, said legalizing and taxing marijuana can benefit smokers and nonsmokers alike.“It’s about getting marijuana into the right hands to keep people safe,’’ Kore said. “We don’t have the money to afford universal health care right now, but if we taxed marijuana, we would.’’In an interview behind the main stage after her speech, Stein said she agreed.“We have a terrible problem with violence resulting from the black market of marijuana,’’ she said. “We are allowing millions to flow into the criminal economy. By bringing it into a legal framework, we can stop that money and use it in our communities.’’Some posed for pictures with a 6-foot-long joint, held by Adam Fithian, who had made it from tomato cages and tape. Fithian is a singer for the band Prospect Hill, which was getting ready to perform at the rally for the third straight year.Fithian supports legalization and said the movement needs to work hard to convince skeptics.Nick Murray, a political science major at the University of New Hampshire, who drove to Boston to attend the rally, said civic engagement is crucial to the cause.“Young people don’t vote enough,’’ Murray said. “That’s the way to change things.’’Though the rally advocated ideas, many used it to further commerce. Dozens of vendors sold wares ranging from T-shirts to peanut butter sandwiches to hemp, pipes, and bongs.Greg Berry and Ray Agrinzone of printer drove from Waterbury, Conn., to sell T-shirts reading: “Grassachusetts Welcomes You. Governor Deval Passit.’’ Berry and Agrinzone said they sold 400 shirts out of backpacks last year, but yesterday they paid MassCann $350 for a booth.Some were on the Common mainly to soak up the scene and the late-summer sun.“I don’t smoke,’’ said Stacy, an Emerson College sophomore who asked that her last name not be used. “I’m here for the jewelry and to take some good photos.’’Globe correspondent Laura Krantz contributed to this report. Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author:  Christopher J. Girard, Globe CorrespondentPublished: September 19, 2010Copyright: 2010 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on September 20, 2010 at 14:54:46 PT
Thank you, Lord, for the marijuana plant. 
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Sep 2010
Source: Creston Valley Advance (CN BC)MARIJUANA HAS MEDICAL BENEFITS To the Editor: I'm 70 years old. I'm a hardcore alcoholic ( sober for 35 years ). I have used heroin, coke and many other drugs. When I first began using pot as a medicine, it was very frightening, not of using the pot but the fear of being arrested. Even though at that time most of my friends and family thought I was just trading one drug ( booze ) for the other ( marijuana ), I knew that the proper use of the drug was of great benefit to me. I can already hear the protests from those who think pot is wicked and unlawful. What I have to say to them is, "Wake up, folks." It is neither. The government of Canada will supply pot to me or anyone else who "qualifies" to get permission from a doctor and the government. Of course, there is a mountain of paper to climb, and sometimes the government creates more paper mountains for us, even when you think you have gotten to the top of one. Those of us who are not able to afford it or do not know the ways of getting results are continuously - well, for two-and-a-half years - being stalled by our mistakes. We do not know what to do or how to get through the maze. My wife is a lung cancer survivor. In 1993, she had half of one lung removed. The cancer was due to two packs of legal cigarettes a day, which she quit. She also drank a lot of legal booze, which she stopped. Even though her operation was a success, she was still dying and went down to 60 pounds in the hospital. When I saw her in the hospital and asked her what she wanted, she told me she wanted a pot joint. I told this to the doctor and was quickly told, definitely, no. I then asked her if she wanted to go home and she said yes. I signed her out of the hospital against the doctor's orders, took her home, rolled one up for her, said, "Screw them, you do not have to die," and lit it up for her. In two months, she had gained 40 pounds and was back to her normal 100-pound weight. She is small, but tough. Since then, we have been using pot nearly every day. There has been no cancer return and after three years, the other doctors said she was cancer free. It has cost me all the money I get to buy pot off the street. But what would you do if a medicine that could save your loved one's life was not legal, but available? Are you going to tell your loved one you cannot let them use this medicine when anyone can get it anytime they have the cash? Well you do that. I won't, my dear wife gets more beautiful as the years go by and my eyesight is still pretty good. Oh, by the way, I buy locally so the money we spend is here in town, and the pot is better and less expensive than that supplied by the government. If there are those who doubt what I say, I am giving my phone number to the newspaper. My wife is still not able to let the public know she is a pot smoker. If you wish to speak on this issue, call the newspaper and give them your number and I will be only too glad to speak on the benefits of pot. Thank you, Lord, for the marijuana plant. Jim Kennedy Creston
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