We are very lucky to live in Canada, the first G8 country to legalize cannabis. As flawed as the legalization process has been in Canada, for most of the world, Cannabis is still considered a Schedule 1 drug. With less than a year into legalization process in Canada it is important to improve these emerging laws and help start the legalization of this herb around the world. We may have won the initial battle here in Canada but the war still rages on. We need to continue to show our solidarity and support for those countries in which it is still illegal as well as educating the populace, dispelling the myths and stopping the continued spread of blatant misinformation.
You may ask "Hey! We won in Canada, why continue protesting?"
Here is a list of reasons to protest
According to the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club there are many reasons to work for the improvement of the legalization framework in Canada such as
- Cannabis users have nowhere legal for us to use our cannabis
- We are treated and punished far more severely than alcohol users in every way
- We can be imprisoned and fined just letting someone see one legal plant growing in our garden
- The Cannabis industry is being taken over by millionaires, ex - cops and prohibitionist politicians while those who have been most harmed by politicians are left out and continue to be demonized
- It has become harder for patients to access medical cannabis now than it was before "legalization”
- Events with cannabis use are forbidden from getting permits.
- The high taxes on cannabis, especially taxes on medicinal cannabis which is taxed like no other legal medicine
- Growing more than 4 Cannabis plants remains a serious crime but there are no limits on home beer brewing
- Discrimatory Driving Laws which declare people to be impaired even if they are a medical user or haven't digested cannabis in days
- The low quality, high prices, contamination, overpackaging of legal cannabis sometimes shown to have toxic pesticides and insects in the bud
- City bylaws which restricted cannabis shops far more strictly than liquor stores”
Here are some other reasons:
There is still a thriving black market with all the incidental crimes it entails
There are now harsher penalties for selling cannabis than when it illegal unless of course you are a LP
The Global Marijuana March (GMM) also known as The Million Marijuana March (MMM) will be celebrating its 21st annual this year, a fitting number in Canada being that this is the first year it is recreationally legal here. It takes place on the first Saturday in May every year in cities throughout the world. An impressive 829 cities and 72 countries in total participated last year. The purpose of the march is to fight for cannabis legislation and protest against the penalties incurred for not following these outdated and unethical laws which, depending on the country can be downright draconian in nature. The ultimate goal of the GMM is worldwide legalization, freedom from persecution and amnesty for those who have been affected with a criminal record.
The Global Marijuana March began in 1999 and was organized in New York City by most noteably cannabis activist Dana Beal, who has organized many cannabis demonstrations, actively fought for legalization and has been part of other activist groups including Yippies. The beginings were humble with 31-36 cities participating in the first year's march compared to the 2010 high of 328 cities. Now on average, there are 40 nations participating in this march, helping to raise awareness around the world.
The GMM continues to grow in popularity among developing countries however with federal legalization in Canada as well as in multiple states in the US turnouts have become smaller at North American events. You don't have to live in a major city to show your support. My own hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario participated in 2018 for the first time alongside larger cities like Montreal and Toronto. World wide, countries from Angola to Vietnam and everywhere in between have participated.
Now we finally have legal recreational and medical cannabis in this beautiful country, it is more important for our community to show solidarity and support for the people around the world still being persecuted and having their lives ruined because of outdated laws.
We hope you had a chance to get out to your local Global Marijuana March on May 4 2019 and maybe it will have inspired you to try organizing your own event if you don't already have one locally. In Canada we are lucky to be free to choose to consume cannabis for medicinal effects or just to get high. Let's show the world this is something truly special and should be actively celebrated all over the planet on a regular basis.