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  Reefer Rally Set for Next Week
Posted by CN Staff on April 29, 2003 at 08:37:41 PT
By Erin Harrington, Staff Writer 
Source: Maneater 

cannabis Although international weed day, April 20, was last week, several Columbia groups are waiting until May 3 to hold a rally for pot. This is the third year the marijuana law reform rally has taken place, and the first time it will be held in Columbia. For the past two years, the local rally was held on the lawn of the Capitol in Jefferson City.

The rally will take place in Peace Park from noon to 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the MU chapter of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws, MU Law School chapter of ACLU and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

The rally is less of a political event and more of an opportunity for people to get together and listen to local music and hang out, MU NORML member Sarah Duff said. She said the groups moved it to Columbia in hopes of attracting a larger crowd than in Jefferson City.

“We thought it would be a good place for support because of the marijuana initiative,” Duff said.

Dan Viets, state coordinator of Missouri NORML, said he is unsure what the size of this year’s rally will be with the new location.

“In previous years, the event has drawn a few hundred people throughout the day,” Viets said.

The rally will be just one of hundreds of rallies occurring worldwide throughout the weekend.

“There will be about 150 rallies going on in the country,” said Kris Krane, spokesman for the NORML Foundation. “It depends on the city, but most will have music and speakers.”

The rally isn’t a protest, but just an event to increase people’s awareness, Krane said.

“We usually get decent media coverage, especially local media, which helps a lot,” Krane said.

A similar event held in April in Ann Arbor, Mich., called the Hash Bash, attracted about 50,000 people on the University of Michigan campus this year.

“It is a smoke-in where smoking marijuana is encouraged,” Hash Bash organizer Adam Brook said.

In Michigan, possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in the city is considered a civil infraction with a $25 fine, Brook said.

“We don’t get much media coverage because the more media coverage, the bigger the crowds,” he said.

Marijuana use is discouraged at the rally in Columbia, Viets said.

“We are actively discouraging drug use at the rally,” he said. “We don’t want anyone breaking the laws, that is not the purpose of the rally.”

Source: Maneater, The (Columbia, MO Edu)
Author: Erin Harrington, Staff Writer
Published: April 29, 2003
Copyright: 2003 The Maneater

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Missouri NORML:

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