The Global Marijuana March is an event that happens annually worldwide on the first Saturday of May ever since the first “march” that took place in 1999. Since then hundreds, even thousands, of people turn out in major cities around the world to celebrate cannabis culture, explain why they support marijuana reform, and to help educate both consumers and non-consumers. It’s a protest and a call to action – it’s just one more show expressing that we have had enough of cannabis prohibition.
“We want to see a change in our laws sooner rather than later,” said Shaun McAlister, executive director of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. “We are through with our tax dollars being wasted on prohibition.”
In Fort Worth people showed up in the hundreds and brought signs that read things such as “Open Your Eyes, Legalize” and “God Made Grass” as they chanted “We Smoke Weed!” It was a very public display of just how many people want change – and those were only the people brave and open enough to show up and join the march; many marijuana consumers keep their habit to themselves and a small group of likeminded friends.
“Thousands of people are still facing criminal charges,” said the event founder Neev, who refused to give his last name. “It should be legalized, it should be cheaper. It’s so expensive because it’s not legal yet. I appreciate the Liberals wanting to do it right, but the rollout is so slow.”
In Toronto, around 20,000 people marched through town to Queens Park, some in costume, nearly all smoking as they went and trailing a monumental cloud of smoke behind them as they chanted “Free the Weed!” Even though the Canadian government is set to legalize marijuana by April 2017, they are saying that not enough is being done to even try to speed up that process.
“We have nowhere to smoke. We have nowhere to take our medicine in,” says Scott Gordon of Oregon NORML.
“To let everyone know that we are not done. Just because Oregon legalized in 2014 it doesn’t mean that everything is all gravy.”
Even in states that have already passed marijuana legalization laws, there is still work to be done. There are still laws surrounding the regulation of marijuana that make no sense – such as the bans on cannabis clubs and cafes, the restrictions on growing plants in your home, and much more. Even after legalization there is still work to be done and Oregon activists gathered to show people that they won’t be satisfied that easily when things are still unfairly regulated.
The Global Marijuana March – or Global Cannabis March, as some may know it – is an exceptional event in the fact that it happens literally all over the world. This is not just a problem we are trying to fix in the United States – it’s a global problem and people around the world have made it a point to demand change and acceptance of the cannabis culture.