Pot lovers push for legalized marijuana at 420 rally
A large crowd of marijuana lovers braved a cold and sometimes stormy afternoon on Mount Royal to show their love for pot at the annual 420 rally in Montreal Monday afternoon.
The participants mingled and passed joints around under a cloud of smoke.
“Personally I think I started a little too young, I think that maybe people should start a little older but it helps me sleep at night,” a young woman named Julie told CTV Montreal. “I believe that this is just standing up and showing that we believe in this. It should be legalized.”
Several others insisted that smoking is a daily ritual that doesn’t prevent them from being productive in their studies and work.
“People are celebrating and are happy to smoke a joint outside and be free to do it. They’re not criminals. It’s something legitimate that just grows from the ground,” said Shantal Arroyo of Clinique la Croix Verte, a Montreal medicinal pot dispensary.
Arroyo said that the potential for profits in recreational marijuana might be slowly slaying opposition. “A lot of barriers are lowering suddenly, maybe because there’s money in it,” she said.
She conceded that marijuana might not be great for young people. “At the clinic we see a lot of young people in their twenties with a lot of prescriptions for anxiety and when we ask when they started smoking, most of them started young, at around 11 or 12, so maybe that has something to do with it,” she said.
Arroyo also noted that some street marijuana is too strong. “That’s why we have to legalize and regulate it, it’s too accessible now. You can find it in a primary school.”
Another lobbyist for legalization said that government could cash in on pot profits. "Look at the revenues it brought to Colorado after they allowed people to get a quality product at a specific place rather than the street,” said Pascal Nadeau, who is part of a new group lobbying for legalization.
Nadeau said that government would be more caring that the local drug dealer. “High school students buy from the local dealer who sits on the corner. He also has stronger drugs to sell and that’s when kids move to stronger drugs,” said Nadeau. “This is a way to help control the youth and prevent them from buying from strangers.”