I kinda wanted to check the Marijuana March on Queens Park in Toronto, just to see what all the hoop-lah was about. Truth be known it just wasn’t at the top of my priority list. In fact fixing my car was; and that’s where I was at the time of this weed smoking frenzy on Queens Park.

When a couple of my friends asked me if I was going and I declined; they hit me up with the “you aint gonna show up for the cause man” type of lyrics. I had to tell them like how Bob Marley said it. It aint that important to me man, It’s more important to those who don’t want Ganja around.

You see I’m on a level where I recognize Ganja for what it is. It’s a plant… a plant with many physical and metaphysical positive attributes that makes it something that I feel should not be outlawed.

I’m on a level of reasoning that “The Man” doesn’t want people to use it because it gives people a sense of liberation and frees them from a mentality of being corporate automatons. Yah I believe that all peoples should have the right to use one of Jah’s (God’s) creations but it aint that big of a deal where I must to rearrange my whole schedule and not have a means of transportation and hinder my ability to earn a living to go smoke some erbs with like minded people.

So I fixed my car while all this was happening. Erb aint going no where and there were like 20,000 people Blazing down Babylon so it was all good.

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May 06, 2007 04:30 AM

Staff Reporter

Marijuana is still illegal in Canada, but you wouldn’t have known it at Queen’s Park yesterday.

That smoky haze above the park just north of the Legislature was from the thousands of people who sparked up joints as part of the Toronto Freedom Festival and Global Marijuana March, “a celebration of all things marijuana,” as one organizer described it.

The park was jammed with tokers who gathered to make a collective case for the legalization of pot, under the watch of Toronto police, who ringed the periphery and herded some marchers through downtown streets, but otherwise let the crowd blast off and didn’t arrest anyone.

A police news release prior to the event said they expected a crowd of 10,000 to 12,000, which may have underestimated the actual attendance. Officers at the scene didn’t want to guess at the crowd size.

It was a spirited affair, but to call it a protest would be an overstatement. The event was so laid-back that most of those who jammed the park seemed unaware of the 2 p.m. march through the downtown core.

Jay Cleary, one of the organizers of the bands that played throughout the day, announced from the stage that “we’re here to smoke our brains out and have a good time,” which prompted a smattering of applause.

He thanked the city for allowing the event, and police for tolerating it, noting the festival has been held nine years in a row without any arrests.

Most of the crowd appeared to be middle-class kids in their late teens or early 20s. There was scarcely a burned-out hippie in the bunch.

Retailers peddling hemp products from tents were busy, but the food vendors did a roaring business.

Inside the CALM (Cannabis as Living Medicine) tent, there were posters of a smiling woman above the slogan, “I smoke responsibly. You can too.”

When asked how to smoke responsibly, a red-eyed guy behind a table giggled and said, “Uh, you know, don’t smoke and drive, I guess.”

A gaggle of teenage girls were smoking a joint while walking along Bloor St. “It’s a nice day for a walk, and for once, I don’t have to sneak around to do it,” one of them said.