Last Saturday was the Global Marijuana March and for Torontonians, the event was about reveling in our good fortunes this time around, while screaming for the future of legal weed everywhere else.
At Queen’s Park in Toronto, steps away from the Ontario Legislative Building where politicians debate the future of our country, booth after booth sold cannabis and related products.
The aromatic smell that took over as the morning continued was unmistakeable, and a welcome prologue to the day’s upcoming events.
From the vantage point of the Weedmaps booth, where the team handed out free swag, it was the perfect place to watch the masses pour in.
At 2 o’clock, the march got underway, with thousands of people determined to be heard. Jodie Emery was the official Grand Marshal, leading the crowd in chants which included, “Toronto cops are cool today, treat us like this every day.” This was in reference to the many police officers who remained on the sidelines as people openly consumed cannabis in public view.
The crowd was significantly smaller than in past years, which some attendees attributed to the cold and rainy weather. Others said that it was due to the fact that Stephen Harper, our pre-Trudeau Prime Minister was vehemently against cannabis reform, which had garnered a much larger protest in the past. There were still thousands in attendance regardless.
In front of the marchers lay wide-open streets with beautiful clouds of pot smoke above them. People clenched signs and flags that called for freedom and understanding while chanting loudly the voices of reason.
Marijuana.com spoke briefly to Jodie Emery, who said that although Canada is taking steps toward a change in cannabis laws there is still much to be done. “Once the arrests end and free pardons and amnesty are offered, we still have to normalize and promote cannabis, and use it to save people’s lives, and the environment too.”
When it was all over, the optimism thankfully remained, in light of legalization seemingly just around the corner. The good vibes were accompanied by a hope that other countries will soon realize marijuana is not the danger to society it was once deemed.
No doubt Queen’s Park has returned to the quiet public space it usually is. But for one day, it was a reflection of our collective hope and determination to end prohibition here and around the globe.