Thousands upon thousands of tokers are demonstrating the normalization of cannabis at the Saturday, May 5, Global Marijuana March and fest with some hardcore puffing.
On the surface, the event may look like it lacks political muscle. Attendees have showed up on the north lawn of Queen's Park to spread blankets, fire up their favourite bong and openly inhale with their friends to the sounds of Ill Scarlet.
But the presence of Prince of Pot Marc Emery, facing extradition for selling pot seeds stateside, as lead parade marshall helps ensure the smokefest's hard edge. Emery's canna-celeb cachet has enthusiasts asking for photos and autographs. Here are 20,000 people proving they aren't criminals but a marijuana marketplace requiring regulation and taxation. Pre-march, vendors in the park get lots of excited attention. The Toronto Hash Mob hangs out at the tent of Vapor Central, a new pot café on Yonge that's offering festival-goers the lung-saving vapour toking experience. We're running the Herbal Aire and Volcano Vaporizer models back to back like a Coke vs. Pepsi taste test.
This is accomplished by passing bags of THC vapour with wipeable spouts around the eager audience so they can feel the difference from normal inhaling. It's a sales pitch, too, so they'll rent a vaporizer in the tent for their own bud at $5 a pop.
Passing or sharing marijuana is trafficking, but here's a new legal twist what if the evidence is disappearing into the lungs on the spot?
Too bad the city festival permit hanging in the booth's corner doesn't allow us to sell Toronto Hash Mob brand marijuana. Until that day, dry stoners should look for the person, not the booth, playing Bob Marley. According to Emery, Marley is universal code for pot dealer.
In his pre-parade speech, the Prince offers good tidings: his forthcoming five-day extradition hearing scheduled to begin May 28 in Van for himself, Michelle Rainey and Greg Williams has been postponed due to a defence lawyer's scheduling conflict. New dates haven't been set, but come the trial, everyone's geared for cross-Canada vigils at U.S. consulates.
"If I'm extradited to America, you will not see me back here alive,' Emery says about the need for political action.
Canadian courts aren't ruling on whether a crime has been committed, but on whether there's enough evidence to extradite the three. Emery's defence is asking the court to determine if the punishment stateside is too harsh compared to the slap-on-the-wrist weed seed selling brings here. That's a decision the Supreme Court of Canada might have to make.
However, public outrage can keep the minister of justice, whoever that is when the time comes, from autographing the extradition papers. That's where we come in.