Marijuana March: Global March May 7 in More Than 180 Cities 4/29/05

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If it is almost May, it is also almost time for the annual march for marijuana legalization coordinated by Dana Beal and his New York City-based organization, Cures Not Wars. Now in their fourth decade, the marches began in New York in 1972 and have since spread across the country and the planet. This year, the marches are scheduled for May 7, although there may be some local variation.

Global Marijuana March poster
Earlier this week, organizers announced that more than 180 cities will have marches, up from last year's total of 166. "It looks like we are well on our way to rebuilding the Million Marijuana March up to its high-water mark of 236 cities," Beal said. March organizers have already called on all of this year's cities as well as ones that may have dropped out to sign up now for 2006. "We think that we have real growth potential in India, Australia and West Africa. We'd like to have 400 cities in 2006," he said.

Many of the new cities are in Eastern Europe, including Budapest, Sofia, Kiev, and Prague. In Budapest, the march will mark the culmination of a "civil obedience" campaign where drug users have turned themselves in to authorities to protest the drug laws (See related story this issue). Other cities holding marches this year include just about every major European capital, dozens of smaller European cities, the Latin American metropolises of Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro, as well as Auckland, Capetown, Jerusalem, and Tokyo.

In the US, protestors calling for marijuana legalization will march in dozens of cities ranging from New York and San Francisco to Albany, NY; Birmingham, AL; Colorado Springs, CO; Dover, DE; and Rapid City, SD; Spokane, WA; Traverse City, MI; Visalia, IL; and Wilkes-Barre, PA.

This year, the Global March campaign has sharpened its message by emphasizing public health and not just medical marijuana. Organizers estimated that more than half a million lives a year could be saved by switching consumption from alcohol and tobacco to pot. And it's not the smoke, said Beal, it's the nicotine. "Even chewing tobacco will give you cancer of the lip and gum, while there has never been a report of stomach cancer from marijuana brownies," he noted.

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Issue #384 -- 4/29/05

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Editorial: Pointlessness | Feature: In Civil Obedience Campaign, Hungarian Drug Users Turn Themselves In | Feature: Marijuana Research Grow Effort Heads for DEA Hearing | Feature: The North American Syringe Exchange Convention | DRCNet Interview: Ten Years of Organizing Hard Drug Users -- Ann Livingston of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users | Announcement: DRCNet/Perry Fund Event to Feature US Rep. Jim McDermott, June 1 in Seattle | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Bad Cops II: South Texas Drug Task Force Fights Dirty | Prisons: US Inmate Population Continues to Swell, Now at 2.1 Million | Drug Czar: Walters Under Attack By Prohibitionists | Marijuana March: Global March May 7 in More Than 180 Cities | Holland: Ministers Squabble Over Cannabis -- One Calls For Legalization, Has Public Opinion on His Side | Europe: British Heroin Maintenance Program to Expand | India: Crackdown on Opium Growers Spurs Confusion, Protests in Karnataka | Weekly: This Week in History | Events: MPP Galas Next Week and the Following | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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