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  Small Crowd at a March for Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on May 03, 2003 at 21:31:17 PT
By Michael Brick 
Source: New York Times  

cannabis Maybe everybody is just all protested out.

Only about 200 people showed up yesterday for the annual march down Broadway, from Houston Street to Battery Park, to demonstrate in favor of decriminalization of marijuana possession. That is down from a crowd estimated at 6,000 last year. In 2000, the number of arrests at the event, 312, actually exceeded the total turnout this year.

"It was a small march," said Aron Kay, 53. "Blame it on the police. Some people have been hearing about busted protesters."

Mr. Kay said that he had not observed any harassment of marchers by the police but said that "their presence alone gives everybody a hard time."

The police, who came on foot, in trucks and in a helicopter, surrounded and seemed to outnumber the marchers. They had clearly prepared for a much larger turnout. Part of an entire block of Broadway, from Houston Street to Prince Street, was cordoned off with barricades around the bus lane and a few feet of sidewalk, but the demonstrators marshaling for the protest filled only about half of that available space.

"Real quiet this year," said Detective Tom Kuchma, a spokesman for the police. There were two arrests, for smoking marijuana, the police said.

It is possible that the thousands of people who usually show up for public demonstrations flaked, to use the parlance of heavy marijuana smokers, but those who did attend suggested that the reason for the low turnout was an overabundance of causes deemed worthy of protests.

Rose Daly, 23, said that people who demonstrate against government policies have full schedules these days. "I know a lot of people who do the big demonstrations for the war, and I wondered why they're not here," Ms. Daly said. "I'm sure they've got eight different events going on, because I know they're in favor of marijuana."

Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Michael Brick
Published: May 4, 2003
Copyright: 2003 The New York Times Company
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/

Cures Not Wars
http://www.cures-not-wars.org/

Million Marijuana March
http://www.millionmarijuanamarch.com

Million Marijuana March News 2003
http://freedomtoexhale.com/million.htm


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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 05, 2003 at 20:02:17 PT
SoberStoner
I can only imagine how hard it must be. It's been years since I've been back east and many years since I've been to Washington. The pace is so different. We can't just go out to the store to get a carton of milk for instance. It's ten miles to a store. We just finishes getting our winter wood supply delivered and stacked so it will be dry by winter. We have an old self contained wood stove ( bought it about 23 years ago ) that we can cook on if the electric would go out. You need to be able to survive out here. That scared me at first but not anymore. Fighting traffic in a city would bother me more. We are having over the ridge neighbor problems. It's sort of funny. It's about his cows getting thru their fence and enjoying our grass. I don't care there pretty cows but they can't just run free. They want us to pay for the half of the fence and we are talking with our attorney. The farm is over a half mile behind us and fencing it would be hard and we don't have livestock but we'll see what the law says soon. Country living has it's own set of problems but I'm use to them.

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Comment #7 posted by SoberStoner on May 05, 2003 at 19:17:54 PT
FoM
Thanks for the kind words.

I lived in rural illinois until i was 26, then moved out here, and honestly, I dont think I'll ever be comfortable out here. I'm so used to open spaces, privacy and lots of quiet areas and thats just something that doesnt exist here.

I believe the DC march was sponsored by Marylands NORML chapter, but honestly I'm not sure.

Sorry about the pessimism earlier, but I'm in a rainy day monday funk:)

SS

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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 05, 2003 at 17:59:16 PT
SoberStoner
I'm sorry it didn't go well. I didn't know that Washington D.C. was involved in a March. What organization was behind the D.C. March. I know that people live back east and I really don't want to be very critical about the east but I lived in Eastern Pa. until I was 26. I never was comfortable living there but didn't realize how much it made me feel bad until I moved to Ohio. I'm not near any cities but in very rural area. When we moved out here the sentence for possession could get a person 20 to 40 years and then they did a flip and you can possess under 100 grams and get a small fine. Fines on bongs and pipes are much higher then on Cannabis. I'm sorry that it wasn't a good experience but I understand.

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Comment #5 posted by SoberStoner on May 05, 2003 at 17:22:53 PT
It was worse in DC
Yep..land of the pee, home of the scared

I went downtown to hit the March, and waited while the band played around and tried to get their gear set up, then looked around and saw only around 20 other people, and half of those were with the band..

It was very depressing, in fact, I hate to admit it, but I was so angry at the lack of response in the very center of our government that I had to leave. I had been hoping to see a small crowd of people who were sick and tired of their government lying to them and instead I ended up with groupies fawning over their so cool boyfriends playing a gig.

I did get to meet the head of the Maryland chapter of NORML and we had a nice chat about Keith Stroup and his recent appearance on Buchanan. He even told me to stop by one day as the march was a block away from the national office. One day I will take off from work and head down there and see what it's like.

A sad day all in all, but at least there is hope coming from the north. More and more i fear America is lost.

Sorry for the bad/sad/depressing news, but living this close to DC, it's hard to shake this feeling of impending doom and gloom since all you hear about out here is the 'rah-rah, we're so righteous and good and God is with us' crap. I dont see how any righteous religious figure could stand with these immoral thieves and crooks.

I really hope we get some good news this week. I hope Canada tells Johnny Pee and his urine brigade to shove off and show the world what a real free country looks like.

SS

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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 04, 2003 at 22:08:27 PT
pieman
Thank you for telling us about the March. I can imagine fear would keep some home and that is understandable after all New Yorkers have been thru.

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Comment #3 posted by pieman on May 04, 2003 at 21:50:12 PT:

NYC rally
well the nypd has been on this kick of beating up protesters....this contributed to the small number present...however the nypd doesnt realize that we will raise hell in summwe 2004 when the rethuglikkkans have their orgy of affluence to recoronate george dumbya shrub....the yippies are coming to nyc to protest the rethuglikkkans.....and their anti-pot nazi thugs

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Comment #2 posted by Lehder on May 04, 2003 at 09:19:27 PT
big crowd in cleveland
a much bigger crowd showed up in cleveland, home of rock and roll. some great music by a band whose name was unknown to the bystanders i asked, and john hartman of the ohio cannabis society made two good speeches about progress and setbacks to the movement during the past year, and legalizing possession and cultivation of marijuana for those over 18 years old. nothing new to those of us who keep informed via internet, but two simply stated and very good presentations were well received. many honking horns and thumbs-up as well over a thousand marchers surrounded the "justice" center then marched to huntington park. i did not see any arrests, though there were several uniformed cops on the periphery and a couple of obviously plain clothes cops who kept to themselves, also at the edges. page b6 of the plain dealer carried a photo of some dancers (a mesmerizing sight, a moving work of art) and a caption that named the event. page b1 carried a big story and huge photo about a comparably sized march (1500) about diversity and racism that was held a few blocks away. i was happy to get turned on, being somewhat of recluse it was the first i smoked since last year's event on may 4, and the effect was quite good, relieving a lot of body tension built up over an extremely trying year. it did not cause me to kill anyone or lose my mind. the good effect will last antoher two or three days, and soon afterward i hope to be moving on to a somewhat less repressive and therefore necessarily cliquish environment. scratch new york.

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Comment #1 posted by mayan on May 04, 2003 at 04:18:22 PT
SOB!
So many issues, so little time! Did everyone move to Canada or did Howard Stern announce the wrong date again? That SOB!!!

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