Global Marijuana March is a worldwide protest that was started in 1999. As time when on the march spread and is now in 829 different cities and 72 countries. Toronto was one of the first cities to participate in the march back in 1999, making this the 20th Global Marijuana March Toronto.
Thousands of cannabis consumers made their way to Queens Park, this past Saturday, for the annual protest through the streets of Toronto. This year’s protest was against the proposed form of legalization that is expected to be implemented this summer.
With legalization on the horizon, Queens Park was buzzing with energy before the event officially kicked off at noon. More than 30 vendors and food trucks had set up in the park. It was great to see all the vendors in attendance after 4/20 Toronto being closely scrutinized by police, and therefore no vendor booths being set up.
The vendors occupied the south half of the park, as the north half was blocked off for construction. This worked well as it forced everyone into a smaller place making the event feel busier.
At 2pm we gathered at the East side of the park to march through the streets, protesting. This year there was a truck pulling a sound system to lead the march. Jodie Emery was the marshal for the march, shouting chants and stopping for speeches to the crowd along the way.
The Global Marijuana March is truly one of my favourite events the cannabis community puts on. It’s not every day you get to walk down the center of a downtown street smoking a joint, chanting about cannabis. I wonder what’s going through people’s heads as they spot us chanting, on their family weekend outing, or the tourists on the double decker busses exploring. No matter what the demographic you find people giving a thumbs up or honking their horn.
The march went on smoothly, without incident, which is something we can all be grateful for. We made our way back to Queens Park around 3pm, with some time to spare before 4:20. The vendors were still all set up and would remain that way for a few more hours.
As 4:20 approached, the crowd gathered around the speakers that were set up as Jodie’s voice rang out over the crowd, once again stating the pitfalls in the proposed legalization policies. Others included Tania from Bloom High Tea Social Club, two people from Indigenous Cannabis Cup and two representatives of the Green Party voiced their opinions. Of course the speeches stopped abruptly to celebrate 4:20, before continuing.
After the speeches where over, the crowd stuck around to check out the vendors and/or continue smoking on the grass under the beautiful weather. The volunteer staff went around gathering garbage to ensure we didn’t leave a mess. With how smoothly the event went off, it is safe to say everyone had a blast.