Saturday, May 03, 2008
So I went downtown the shoot the Vancouver edition of the Global Marijuana March. I love to put my photojournalist hat on. I was offered pot and declined of course and wandered through the peaceful gathering shooting pictures. In this photo you see Michelle Rainey speaking. The United States wants Michelle extradited to face trial for her alleged role in selling marijauna seeds to people in the United States. She faces life in prison if convicted. I personally doubt she will extradited and the request created an uproar in Canada.
My take on the marijuana debate is based entirely on my common sense approach and ignores any and all scientific studies. Under current guidelines in my home state of Arizona it is very unlikely that anybody caught smuggling under 500 pounds of marijuana will be prosecuted by either federal or state authorities. That says a lot.
The leaders of today's march spoke about how marijuana being illegal means organized crime is allowed to spread. One guy even mentioned the oil companies and major corporations as the reason for pot remaining illegal. What I laughed at is when their activism was compared by one speaker to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus.
I think that too much money is spent fighting and prosecuting marijuana while alcohol and prescription drug abuse present far greater dangers. However, if marijuana were legalized like the organizers and participants of this march want, it would be completely taken over by the tobacco industry. Huge corporations would pounce on marijuana faster than they pounced on Vancouver when it was awarded to 2010 Winter Olympics.
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