This past Monday over 40 communities from coast to coast to coast Canadians from all backgrounds and ages made a strong statement that its time to legalize the production, distribution, and possession of the cannabis plant. With well over a hundred thousand Canadians rallying throughout the nation, the cannabis reform movement was successful in ensuring our presence is well felt in this pivotal election year. Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) was well represented throughout the nation by providing a firm presence in each of the major protests in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. According to Facebook, across Canada over 100,000 people came out to celebrate 420!
Board member Gonzo Nieto led our Montreal presence by providing drug policy reform literature, harm reduction information, and selling CSSDP shirts to the fine attendees gathering at Mont Royal. In Ottawa, board member Christopher Ducas was up bright and early for an interview on CTV’s Canada AM to explain the importance of Canada’s 420 rallies and then was off to the Hill to distribute pamphlets to protesters while attempting to engage friendly politicians, such as Honourable Member of Parliament Dr. Carolyn Bennett. Meanwhile, in Toronto, CSSDP Outreach Director Lisa Campbell and board member Steff Pinch provided stirring speeches to the thousands of assembled protesters getting them fired up about drug policy reform. Finally, board member Chris Carroll and CSSDP SFU member Christine Coulter led our tabling efforts in Vancouver where we disseminated a vast array of drug policy reform information to the large crowd assembled outside the city’s art gallery.
The unprecedented crowds at many of the 420 protests throughout the nation is a sign that the Canadian people are ready for change on this very important issue. Unfortunately, many politicians who walked by the Parliament Hill protest on their way to the House of Commons looked down upon us with scornful eyes with some even laughing at the attendees. Its this kind of mindset amongst some of our politicians that perpetuate bad policies that hurt good people. Yet, its acts such as these that motivates everyone at the CSSDP to continue to advocate for more compassionate and sensible drug policies. Tune in for more reports from 420 across the country over this next week from our volunteers!