Toronto Marijuana Festival About ‘Freedom to Choose’

By Hilary White

TORONTO, May 7, 2007 ( –“Celebrate your freedom to choose” was the slogan as the grounds of the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park was enveloped in a haze of marijuana smoke this Saturday. 15,000 young people sporting garlands of faux cannabis leaves and openly smoking the drug danced and lounged on the grass at the “Freedom Festival” promoting the legalization of cannabis.

  The “Toronto Freedom Festival,” part of the ninth annual Global Marijuana March being held in 232 cities around the world, was organized by the group, CALM, (Cannabis As Living Medicine) to promote the legalization of cannabis for medical use.

CALM listed cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, hepatitis, spinal cord damage and arthritis as among the medical conditions that can be ‘treated’ with marijuana. The group included only an email address and phone number for its “near downtown Toronto” location and claimed that membership in the group “guarantees safe and reliable access to medicinal cannabis for Canadians living with chronic or fatal disease.”

  A small group of Toronto police looked on from one end of the park while next to one booth, a group of young people crowded around cheering while a seven inch-long marijuana cigarette was passed around. Tent kiosks were set up to allow participants to sign petitions and receive information.

The CALM website lists includes among its goals: “Providing access and education on all aspects of cannabis,” and “Helping members achieve self-sustainability and independence by providing young plants.”

A volunteer at an information booth declined to say who had funded the rally or whose name was on the permit from the City of Toronto.

CALM posters were prominently displayed urging the teenagers and children present to “Smoke responsibly”. A CALM brochure lauded the benefits of smoking marijuana and denied any health threats to smoking or eating the drug or using vaporizing apparatus.

  Festival organizer Gavin Bryan, told 680 News Radio the day was a celebration of the right to choose. “(It’s) about freedom of choice and marijuana just happens to be one of the things that’s here today; we have same-sex marriage (supporters) here as well,” said Bryan.

  See related LifeSiteNews report:
“Pot Is More Dangerous than LSD or Heroine” - Liberal UK Newspaper Apologizes for Efforts to Legalize Cannabis

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