Calgary 6th Annual Worldwide Marijuana March Saturday, May 10 / 2010
This year event proved to even more of a challenge to make happen then previous years. The weather was cool, windy but sunny. Alberta tends to get cold and wet weather in May. The 5 previous years we have had warm sunny weather so as each year passes the odds of having poor weather become more and more likely.
Days before the event our sound tech called and told me he was stuck in Ontario and would not be on hand with the sound system and required power supply.
The scramble was on. Renting the sound system was the easy part. Borrowing a AC power supply proved unobtainable Getting a reasonable price on a power supply that would provide enough power turned out to be expensive. The show must go on of course.
Debbie and I worked many hours to cut the stickers, visit our sponsors pick up the prizes and give away products, meet with the police, get materials for signs to be made by Lyle Strand and on and on it went. Still all in all it is worth the effort and money to make the event happen in conservative Calgary.
Debbie, Mamakind and I arrived at Calgary City Hall at 12:00 noon to start unloading two trucks packed solid and get setup. Thankfully Calgary 420 event marshals Rev. Kevin Moore and Rob Blair were there waiting to help out when we arrived. Rev. Kevin Moore got to work on setting up the rented sound system and power supply. In short order more volunteers and event marshals started to arrive and the unloading and setup went smoothly. Right on time at 12:30 the 250+ helium filled balloons with the Calgary 420 logo on them started to arrive. 12:30 the media Global TV and CTV showed up so we could get the interviews done before the event start time of 1:00 PM. The media wanted to interview the parade marshals listed in the press release as well. Sadly two of the three parade marshals were not able to attend due to illness of which two are Health Canada MADD card holders. One Health Canada MADD card holder parade marshal Grant Cluff arrived late at 1:40 PM so the media were not able to get interviews. Thankfully Rob Blair a Health Canada MADD card holder agreed to be interviewed by Global TV. Rob did a excellent interview that Calgary 420 is very proud of. Big thank you goes out to Rob Blair for saving that part of the planned event.
The start of the event the crowd was pretty small. I found out that some how a message was sent out on Facebook telling people the event would not start until 2:00 PM instead of the usual 1:00 PM. 2008 I realized we needed a longer event due to it growing in size each year. 2009 and 1010 the events were scheduled to start at 1:00 PM.
This years event like past years events was started with the very appropriate tune For What It's Worth by Buffalo Springfield 1966 being punched out loud and proud. See the end of this article for the lyrics and a link to a Youtube video clip.
There was also an event across the street at Olympic Plaza and our rented sound system could be heard over there. It drew the attention of those event goers and some came over to join us as the crowd began to swell around 1:30 PM. One parent brought his children over after hearing speeches belting out the true facts about prohibition. He wanted his children to hear the truth. He insisted he felt he had to be a responsible parent and did not want to lie to them and have them end up distrusting his teaching them.
After I, Mamakind and Grant Cluff spoke to the crowd and some more music was played the parade was started at 2:00 PM. The Calgary Police Service blocked the cross streets so the marchers could cross safely in a large group. This has be one of my favorite parts of the event. Hundreds of people from all ages and walks of life joining together with hundreds of signs and helium fill Calgary 420 green balloons filling the 8th avenue mall for at least two blocks long. Chanting, waving signs enjoying being united in the right fight and being loud and proud.
Once the parade arrived back at Calgary City Hall Kelly Christie and Debbie Fagin were waiting to start handing out the hundreds of Treating Yourself Magazines and some Skunk Magazine and some Cannabis Culture magazines. Free posters, t-shirts, signs, stickers and the list goes on and on were given away. Kelly Christie setup by the Calgary Police Service officers again this year to had out hundreds of Calgary packs of rolling papers and other over 18 year old products once they produced picture ID. Of course there will always be the under 18 year old people at these events and we make sure they to get free products that are not restricted to the adult crowd only.
I am proud to mention Kelly Christie, Debbie Fagin and Rev. Kevin Moore all stood up to the microphone and spoke to the crowd this year. Debbie encouraged the crowd to chant slogans that were much more appropriate then some of the past year chants by the crowd such as smoke weed, we're high we here get use to it and so on.
More speeches and music and it was time to hand out prizes for best Ganja Fairies, best signs and best costumes. Next up was the glass art and vaporizer draws.
As has happened in previous years my head was seriously sunburned, feet were sore and my back was aching by the end of the event
Lastly but not least I want to thank all the volunteers, event marshals and many sponsors that help this event happen successfully every year!
As per each and every event Calgary 420 left the area cleaner then when we got there all thanks to the crowd, volunteers and event marshals.
See you next at the next Calgary event!
Special thanks to Bill, Jackie and Nick from Bongs and Such, Hemp Roots, Hemporium, KDK Distributors and quik Mick, The Next Level and Virtual Vales.
Additional we have gained a new hemp store sponsor called Green Thumbs.
There's something happening here What it is ain't exactly clear There's a man with a gun over there Telling me I got to beware
I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down
There's battle lines being drawn Nobody's right if everybody's wrong Young people speaking their minds Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down
What a field-day for the heat A thousand people in the street Singing songs and carrying signs Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down
Paranoia strikes deep Into your life it will creep It starts when you're always afraid You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down Stop, hey, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down Stop, now, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down Stop, children, what's that sound Everybody look what's going down
http://www.drugrehab.ca/alberta.html "Alberta's Ongoing Drug Problems The province of Alberta has been battling continuous drug problems that are mainly all fueled from the many gang problems that the province is also dealing with. The province Justice Minister indicated that the addicts that are using everything from pot to crack play a major role of the gang problems and are not part of the solution. Alberta has been taking measures to stiffen it legislation and drug laws, and for example plans to not take a loose look at marijuana, because many have criticized that marijuana should be legal. The province has started no official talks about going easy on weed. In Alberta there are 54 different gangs operating, who all form to make money off of the illegal drug trade, mainly cocaine. In Calgary there are more than twelve dozen unsolved gang related crimes and even more drive by shootings. The majority of these crimes are drug related and this affects many innocents. Alberta spends 95% of its gang funding on policing and corrections, rather than early intervention."
http://www.drugrehab.ca/alberta/calgary.html "Marijuana Addiction in Calgary Marijuana is a very popular drug in Calgary as it is very cheap and easy to come by. There are many false assumptions when it comes to marijuana. Although there are some medicinal values related to marijuana consumption, people often forget about the addictive nature of marijuana. Although it isn't as bad as some of the stronger drugs, people can still develop a psychological addiction to marijuana.
Furthermore, marijuana producers and dealers often deal in very big amounts of marijuana. For example, two homes in the beginning of 2009 were searched and the people were charged with marijuana production with intent to sell. The police force found more than a thousand pot plants in each houses, for a total value of around 3.5 million dollars. And many other cannabis busts are often between a million and two million dollars in pot plants. So this shows just how available marijuana is in Calgary. The police report that each year, they find and condemn around 100 marijuana growing operations."