Police Observe Rampant Pot Smoking on Stoner's 'Christmas Day'

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. by Matthew Mernagh

    NIAGARA FALLS, CANADA -- (OfficialWire) -- 04/21/04 -- "It's Christmas Day for stoners!" That's the best way to explain 420 to those not in the know. Marijuana enthusiasts throughout the year allude to the mysterious 420 and once a year 'smoke-ins' take place all over North America on that wondrous day-April 20. Putting an awesome spin on the event, organizers Eric Wood and Marko Ivancicevic decided to put the staging area at end of Highway 420 and Victoria Avenue.

    I seriously came out of the marijuana closest by appearing on the front page of the weekend edition of the St. Catharines Standard. The reporter perfectly captured how much pain courses through my body and how I relieve it with marijuana. Café associates at the Fine Grind have started a betting pool on how soon it'll take the coppers to shut me down. People are calling me to say not to come around-they fear I'm that much a heat score. Other express shock that I still haven't been picked up. No matter who you talk to the word is that I'm heading to the crow bar hotel some time soon. As the executive director of the Niagara Compassion Society, Marko asked me to distribute flyers and get the word out. In exchange he'd let me do my thing in front of the home town crowd.

    Since September I've been hosting conferences at the local library to inform people of the many benefits of medicinal marijuana. I became involved in the movement to Free the Weed in the spring of '98 when I joined the Toronto Compassion Club as their 22nd client. With my family doctor's tacit approval I began using marijuana to treat the horrible pain of having 70 year-old curving crumbling spine.

    420 is more important to me than sparking a phatty, chanting "I Love Marijuana," and bragging about bong hits. Without marijuana I'm disabled, with it, I'm able. Four hundred thousand Canadians admit to using marijuana for medicinal purposes, another three million toke recreationally from time-to-time. Medicinal marijuana allows me to be productive.

    Having attended many Free the Weed protests I came fully prepared to expect the disorganized worst. Reaching Victoria Ave. and Hwy 420 the beginnings of the protest were starting to shape up. I had important news to bring to the group.

    For some reason the Niagara Regional Police thought I was organizing the smoke-in. Staff Sgt. Carl Scott called me to voice his concern, not about the grass, but for our safety. The areas chosen for the protest were high traffic areas, with Americans racing through Canada Customs in a mad dash to get to the casino. Staff Sgt. Scott offered up an Ontario Provincial Police station as a picketing area.

    I told the Staff Sgt. that I would pass along his concerns to the actual organizers. Before concerns could be voiced, activists had staked out a small parkette at Victoria Park and Hwy. 420. Health Canada Marijuana Medical Access Regulations cardholder Robert Neron had planted his Canadian flags, with the maple leaf replaced with a pot leaf, and began openly puffing way. Neron has a legal exemption from the law, which only a handful of Canadians have, allowing him to puff anywhere he chooses.

    It takes a while for Potheads to straggle into a protest. There's plenty of hanging out and yakking. Especially amongst the MMAR and regular protest goers. I expressed the police concerns to my friend, MMAR cardholder, Alison Myrden (shown here with Steve) and with the organizers no where to be found I became the host of the party. I was nervous, so I hauled on some grass to take the edge off. Amazingly the police simply walked pass making sure that no one stepped into traffic.

    I've had many liberating marijuana moments in my life. Those are times when taking a long haul on some fine weed without any worry that the police will snap the cuffs on you. The first took place at the beautiful Rokerij (DE) café in the Centre Western district of Amsterdam on my b-day. With a stash of several varieties and some delicious hash I spent the whole night with my 420 girl Shiva Sativa drinking mango fruit drinks. That evening ended when a pack of young Americans made fools of themselves, with one fellow becoming so stoned he was oblivious to the fact that he was picking his nose.

    The second time I had this sense of freedom was last Canada Day, when the police said they wouldn't enforce the chaotic marijuana law. Man, did I get gunned on grass that night at the Fine Grind Café. This 420 event would throw my sense of freedom over the top.

    Another moment of unbelievable weird craziness was when the officers approached Wood, who had a smoldering joint in hand to ask our intentions. As our numbers grew we were running out of parkette.

    Fearing that this protest was falling into my lap, Steve Bacon and Marko finally showed. Marko as usual was wearing his Cat in the Hat Hat with pot leaves all over it. Very cool. Very stoner! Bacon was sporting a short sleeved marijuana shirt. With everyone gathered the hardcore group of activists needed a plan and quickly, as the cops were worried someone would stumble hazily into the street. By this point I had already smoked three doobies openly in plain view of the NRP.

    Marko and Bacon took control and spoke to the officers. We wanted to take the Rainbow Bridge. They offered us an indirect route via some side street. Wood, a long time taxi driver in Niagara Falls shook his head that NRP's suggestion wasn't good enough. Too far out of the way. Marko declared that he wanted to storm Clifton Hill, the biggest tourist area in Canada, and then take Rainbow bridge. We all let out a roar of approval.

    Again a little disorganized to start, but the vibe was brewing. The smell of green and excitement wafted in the air. NDP youth executive Chris Goodwin and myself carried a banner of the patron saint of medicinal grass, Jim Wakeford. This was our effort to control the pace and keep people going in the right direction. Though both Goodwin and I didn't know how to get to our destination. Alison Myrden scooted to the front in her wheelchair. An excited Bacon wheeled Catherine DeVeries to the point position with Lady Di following closely behind wheeling Catherine's IV.

    All set in position, the press began taking pictures as we warmed up with a chant of "I Love Marijuana!" "I Love Marijuana." The photographers were laughing and eating our message up. Having two very ill people lead our charge, naturally, made the biggest statement. The group was picking up speed as we stumbled at the spot where the police wanted us to turn. A cruiser had blocked off the intersection and us flag-bearers began to turn.

    Wood, I think, shouted "Keep going!" Confused, we kept going pass this police attempt to coral us into a side street and way from the precious tourists. Looking up the slow incline of the hill leading to Clifton, I began to think of all of ill people, who were weary. My friend Pat drove herself ahead, unable to walk that far, she caught up to me as we marched into the Heart of Tourist trap known as Clifton Hill.

    The crowd let out a great roar, "FREE THE WEED!" The tourist were stunned, a protest had disrupt their fun times at Ripley's Believe It or Not, WWE Wrestling Centre, WB Studios, Dracula's Haunted House. It was literally all down hill from here. The excitement, chanting and puffing pumped up us veterans. Though I had been attending protests since ‘98, this would be my first to address the crowd and one that had me in the front.

    Gangs of roaming, gunned on grass Potheads began to scream "WE LOVE MARIJUANA!" Unable to se our numbers behind us I managed to catch glimpses of terror in the eyes of these tourists. Imagine stumbling out of the WWE Piledriver Drop into a sea of screaming, raving, pumped up marijuana protesters. Oh, these tourists were getting a show. Sadly, they were too stunned to snap pictures, they just let their jaws drop at the sight of all these Canucks celebrating the herb. One mother protected her boys by hiding their faces into her chest.

    These tourists are going to go home with the strangest impression of Canada. These folks will go back to America, Japan, India and say to their friends that they were over run by Potheads and the police were letting them get away with it. Sort of like Spain's Running of the Bulls, but with the police acting as very tame bulls. Why weren't they bludgeoning these freaks into submission?

    "Me and the wife and kids were eating cotton candy at Funland," a 45 year-old man from Moline Illinois told me later about the experience. "We had just survived the WWE's Piledriver, then wouldn't you know it, a few hundred crazies, delirious on that, what you call it, BC Bud, came storming out of nowhere. I reached for my gun, but wouldn't you know it, they took it from me at the border. That's it for us, no more foreign vacations. A man is only safe in his own backyard."

    With about fifteen minutes until 420 our group began to seriously boogie down Clifton Hill, letting all our positive pot energy out in great big bursts of enthusiasm. DeVeries pushed by the power of the people behind her picked up speed to the Rainbow Bridge. The cops directed us into the parking lot of the currency exchange. If they wanted to fill the paddy wagon they could have as we backed ourselves into a far corner over looking both falls.

    As promised in my earlier phone call with Staff Sgt. Scott the police would stand back as long as there was no violence or need for them to come in. The parking lot was filling up with coppers and Potheads. A good size crowd had turned out, many from out of town, but the locals who found out last minute via the local radio stations came out in good numbers.

    Our plan on coming to the Rainbow Bridge was to demonstrate that Canada's drug laws are not being written in the House of Commons, but in the White House. I really needed to get this off my chest. Having lobbied my government staunchly for the last eighteen months I've been continually told that our drug policy needed to comply with international treaties or politicians openly remark that pressure from south of the border is dictating policy.

    Feeling the weed and positive vibes I took up a post on a concrete embankment. I wanted people to know my experiences. With the press and the crowd coming to attention I looked down, saw Alison and instinctively knew what I had to do.

    I hollered my name and rank. Then I hit them with my message and why we choose the Rainbow Bridge to deliver it. Getting caught in the moment of it all I failed to take any notes.

    "Canadian politicians have committed acts of treason and no one seems to be angry about it. Well, I'm very pissed off! Its time that we named who these MPs and MPPs are and turf them out of office for being so disloyal. We know that the White House is dictating our drug policy. The Liberal politicians are falling over themselves in their stampede to appease the White House." I pointed over the gorge to the U.S. side.

    "Before the so called 'decrim bill' was even tabled by then justice minister Martin Cauchon in the House of Commons he thought it best to fly to Washington and show the U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft the bill. An American saw a piece of legislation before the Canadian people and more importantly before our own MPs had a chance to read it.

    This treason-ist act has gone largely unchallenged. This MP didn't even bother to hide his actions, he openly traveled to Washington. Clearly going to Washington to have a bill approved is the norm for the Liberal government. I guess Republicans have the final say on our laws. Funny I don't recall voting for Dubya or his cronies."

    At this point the crowd began to whoop it up Memphis style. They pumped me with their shouts and hollering as I led into my next big point on the topic of Canadian drug policy. This next moment I'll remember for the rest of my life.

    "My anger over MP Martin Cauchon boils my blood so bad that I had to spend the whole morning toking and writing. The gall of this MP is atrocious and we must ensure that he is never elected again. Booting the Benedict Arnold from office is going to easy on him I'd like to see him on trial for crimes against the Canadian people."

    "CANADA. CANADA. CANADA. CANADA." Wow! The crowd completely stunned me with their response. I chanted along. For a long time I felt beaten by the fact that our elected politicians took it up the ying-yang from the Drug Czar John Walters. Now a few hundred marijuana enthusiasts high on life and weed were reclaiming our country.

    "On July 8, 2003 the following MPs conspired against Canadian electorate. MP Dan McTeague, MP Brenda Chamberlain, MP Roger Gallaway and MP Judi Longfield conspired with the enemy by encouraging the deputy czar to tell politicians America would get tough if we changed our laws." The crowd was inspiring me to keep going. Hollering and shouting. Marijuana began getting lit up left, right, and centre. The cops hung back and watched.

    "Who the hell do these MPs think they are? When the war is over, and let me tell you, as someone who sat through the anti-drug police conference several months ago we're not even close, these collaborators will be tried, unjustly just like us and sentenced with mandatory minimum sentences. Treason is a harsh crime that deserves plenty of prison time!"

    The experience was completely overwhelming. The crowd had completely egged me on. At think at this point someone handed me a blunt and I took massive inhales. In the last thirteen years there are only a few moments when I can honestly say that I felt absolutely no pain. The buzz from the crowd pumped through my veins and feeling on top of the world I let out a massive of jump into the crowd. My friend Pat, who knows about my condition, was wincing before I even hit the ground. I didn't feel it all. The crowd was going ballistic. We were winning the war. The NRP let things unfold.

    Unfortunately after my performance the crowd was too hyped to listen to Alison who couldn't holler as loud as I. She spoke valiantly about the issue of marijuana and driving. Steve Bacon took up position on the concrete slab, with a joint made from what had to 15 grams of grass.

    In a New Year's sort of way he counted down to 420 and the crowd let out a huge roar and a massive plume of smoke. The true party had begun, overlooking the beautiful Niagara Falls. From my position I could see the cops, 250 yards off just keeping a peaceful eye on us. The safety in numbers philosophy was truly at work as this 420 bash became a big time pot party.

    People just kept handing me grass to try. The whole afternoon was spent sampling great marijuana. Everyone was so peaceful and relaxed. The big half ounce phatty that Bacon sparked was going around to anyone who wanted to take a hit off it. Still the police stayed back and observed. Like a wrestler after winning a title match, I was a little weary but stoked on grass and the warm vibes of the people.

    There were plenty of hottie 420 girls, but even with my performance, my geeky nature took over. Czart! If the beautiful red headed girl is reading this please email me. Milling about some more and speaking with people about the drug war, Robert Neron came over to invite me back to his suite at Marriott Falls View for some after protest fun.

    Upon arriving in Robert's beautiful suite overlooking the falls, he presented me with an Easter Egg full of goodies. This little beauty had wonderful goodies to make any elite Pothead happy, happy. There were two varieties of two grams worth of marijuana, a gooey mess of hash, some rolling papers, filters, five seeds of Willy Jack and five seeds of Willy Black Domina and four twenty in change.

    By the time I arrived at the suite I had needed to get a second wind of grass into me. Stepping off the elevator I ran into Steve Bacon. A veteran in the marijuana movement, he congratulated me, "You're a real good activist, Matt." I headed down the hall in time to wish Lady Di and Catharine adios.

    Then the weird craziness really began. Coming into this protest I had plenty of anger towards America. Well, wouldn't you know the room was filled with American med pot activists. Admiring the view of the constantly changing colours I hauled on my seventh or eighth of the night. To truly Kick Up Jams I had to toke plenty more.

    Sitting on the stairs, was a fellow I met earlier, George from OHIO. He drove five hours to be apart of this protest, and he sat on the stairs leading up to the loft bedroom completely in a state of blissful shock and awe.

    Like many of the protesters this was his first taste of pure freedom. The lifting of the sense of fear, guilt and constantly looking out for The Man had blown George's mind. Smoking, unhindered, in the beautiful spring weather is the most liberating feeling in the world. George and the other wonderful Americans spoke of how repressed they are and that something truly amazing is happening in Canada. Before leaving on his marijuana road trip, George's friends told him that he would end up the pokey for coming out the closest.

    Now he planned on returning home to tell them that even though he didn't know us before coming to the protest, the Canadians he met and shared marijuana with were the most amazing people he ever met. George has been to the promise land, a place, at least once a year, where peaceful civil disobedience in the form of pot toking happened. Possibly his friends won't believe the stories of Potheads sharing grass with the police peacefully looking on. Next year George intends to bring plenty of friends.

    Winding down with some sweet indica we spoke of getting seriously organized next year. To really make our voice heard. The media came out big time and our message was carried across North America. Exhausted I basked in the glow of the late night news, a top story on several stations, with everyone giving us a positive spin.
  2. For starters, I apologize to my fellow blades that I am bumping such an old thread. However, after reading this entertaining piece, I was left with a question and concern. Stated in this article, about a group of Canadian's had a protest and get together about marijuana and its legaiity. I enjoyed hearing a Canadian point of view, as I wasn't clued in to the American government having such influence North of the Border. Unfortunately I have to call one line into question :

    "Me and the wife and kids were eating cotton candy at Funland," a 45 year-old man from Moline Illinois told me later about the experience. "We had just survived the WWE's Piledriver, then wouldn't you know it, a few hundred crazies, delirious on that, what you call it, BC Bud, came storming out of nowhere. I reached for my gun, but wouldn't you know it, they took it from me at the border. That's it for us, no more foreign vacations. A man is only safe in his own backyard."

    I just honestly do not believe that an actual person from Moline, Illinois actually said this. Firstly, I have a hard time believing he used the term BC Bud, let alone know what it actually is. Secondly, no American, not even Ultra-Conservative Republican NRA member (or what have you etc.) would say, look some Candians smoking marijuana, wheres my gun? That's just crazy. Living less than 300 miles away in Milwaukee, WI makes me feel pretty comfortable with my belief. I also have family living in Mercer county, the neighboring county. Nobody from Moline would try to bring their gun through customs over the border to Canada! That's simply ludicrous.

    I feel disappointed, this article had a great message. But really, reporting this as fact? I'm willing to try and find the person quoted to check its validity..I just don't know

  3. Leave it to some stupid journalist to compare stoners to Christians.

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