Law Enforcement AGAINST Prohibition?
Yes! LEAP is comprised of current and former law enforcement officers who support drug regulation rather than prohibition.
Thursday evening, June 12, several Kansas NORML members attended a very persuasive presentation by Jack A. Cole, executive director of LEAP. Mr. Cole’s law enforcement career included 12 years of undercover work, where he witnessed first-hand the horrors of the drug war. He presented several very compelling reasons, solidly backed by statistics, for the US to abandon its War on Drugs and try a completely different approach: Legalization of all illicit drugs!
The first argument against this idea is, of course, that legalization would surely result in skyrocketing use and abuse. Mr. Cole’s response is presented in the form of black and white statistics which show that in Holland, where cannabis is nearly legal, the rate of use by teenagers is much lower than it is here in the US, where marijuana remains a “forbidden fruit”.
Other convincing arguments put forth by Mr. Cole included the powerful suggestion that removing the profit motive from the drug trade by legalizing drugs — and even distributing them for free(!) — would immediately put dealers out of business. All crime arising from prohibition would abruptly cease.
Taxpayers who choose to use these government-provided and quality-controlled substances wouldn’t have to worry about going to prison and consuming massive quantities of taxpayer dollars in exchange for free room and board. The consumer would remain a productive member of our society instead of a burden upon its shoulders.
Jack Cole and other members of LEAP present their powerful case for legalization to civic groups, senior citizens’ associations and other probable voters across the nation. According to Mr. Cole, by the time his presentation ends, 80% of his audience has been won over.
Let’s help these guys!
- Go to their website and join Friends of LEAP.
- Line up some speaking gigs for them in your area.
- Tell your friends and family about LEAP and their goals.
- Send them money every chance you get.
Reformers Score Again
June 4 — San Francisco CA: On June 5th we scored a major victory in Washington when, at the urging of activists across the country, The House Government Reform Committee took a hard look at some of the provisions in HR 2086, the “Office of National Drug Control Policy Re-authorization Act of 2003.”
As written, the legislation, which was quietly slipping through Congress, would have allowed Drug Czar John Walters and the Bush administration to spend up to $195 million in taxpayer dollars to oppose medical marijuana ballot measures and pro-reform candidates. The provision was repealed.
Other changes include:
- The denial of the Drug Czar’s outrageous request to divert millions of taxpayer dollars from local and state law enforcement agencies to an insane war against medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.
- Requirements that the Drug Czar’s office let voters know that their money is paying for those insulting and expensive anti-drug ads.
- Anti-drug ads must now include contact information for local treatment providers.
- New provisions prohibit the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign from ever being used against pro-reform candidates, legislation, regulations, or ballot measures.
And finally, after several years of intense effort by reform groups, eligibility for student aid will be restored to people who have drug convictions on their records.
None of these triumphs would ever have been possible without the support of individual advocates across the nation who took the time to personally contact their legislators and express their concerns.
In light of these extraordinary developments, there’s never been a better time to be involved in the cannabis law reform movement.
Canada Goes Ahead With Decriminalization Plans
May 28 –In spite of pressure from the Bush administration, as well as from opponents in Canada, legislation which would decriminalize possession of up to 15 grams (about a half ounce) of marijuana was introduced in the Canadian Parliament yesterday. Possession of marijuana would still be illegal, but possession of small amounts would draw only a fine, not jail time — much like a traffic ticket.
While decriminalizing possession of small amounts, the legislation also contains language which would increase penalties for larger-scale cannabis cultivation and distribution operations. The primary goal of the plan is to protect young people from acquiring criminal records for marijuana experimentation.
Reformers 2 / Feds 0
May 24 — Washington DC: It’s been a good week for reformers: The ONDCP Reauthorization bill was moving through Congress, expected to pass and be signed into law. The bill included, among other objectionable proposals, a section which would have authorized the diversion of millions of dollars from funds intended for tracking down and prosecuting major drug traffickers to funding the DEA’s continuing merciless persecution of AIDS, cancer, and other patients who use marijuana as medicine!
When the alarm was sounded by reform organizations, advocates everywhere phoned and e-mailed their legislators in Washington, urging them to oppose the bill as written. Phones in many Congressional offices were reportedly “ringing off the hook.” The mainstream media even reported on the legislation and the grass roots resistance to it.
As a direct result of our actions, the Government Reform Committee opted to delay voting on the measure–a victory for reformers and a thrilling example of what many voices united as one can accomplish!
In Maryland, we scored again when Governor Robert Ehrlich, despite intense pressure from “Drug Czar” John Walters, signed into law a medical marijuana bill.
Congress Considering States’ Rights Bill
May 23 — Washington, DC: On Friday, May 23, the “States’ Rights To Medical Marijuana Act” was reintroduced in Congress. The bill was presented by two republicans and two democrats and is co-sponsored by 21 US representatives (none from Kansas).
The measure would reschedule marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, thus allowing physicians in states with medical marijuana programs to legally prescribe cannabis for their seriously ill patients who would benefit from its use. The bill also would grant legal authority for state legislatures that wish to do so to establish medical marijuana programs.
If the bill passes, federal prosecution of medicinal marijuana patients and their providers would not be allowed in states that have approved the use of marijuana as medicine. Since 1996, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and recently, Maryland, have all established some form of medical marijuana program.
For the sake of seriously ill patients in the Sunflower State, we all need to contact our Kansas legislators and encourage them to introduce and support medical marijuana legislation in their next session.
An Evening With George
4/26/03 A report about a recipient of government medical marijuana and the State of Kansas.
WHAT A BLAST!!!
5/05/03 — Wichita: EVERYONE WHO DIDN’T SHOW UP for Wichita’s participation in the Global March for Cannabis Liberation really missed out! Again, there were about 50 of us, but with enough enthusiasm for a much larger crowd. This year’s alternate location turned out to be a superb spot for what we were doing and we’ve decided to make it our traditional location for the event. All the demonstrators had a great time and said so. The enthusiastic support shown by the steady traffic flowing by us as we waved our signs was extremely gratifying—many thanks to all of you.
A huge thank you goes out, too, to Cannabis Culture magazine, whose staff provided us with several copies of their beautiful and hugely informative publication to distribute among participants. These kind folks even sent a check to help with funding the event!
If you’re concerned about local law enforcement interference, we can say only that the police officers with whom we spoke were very courteous, thanking us for remaining orderly and not impeding traffic flow. So, if you didn’t come out and help us for fear of law enforcement repercussions — GET OVER IT ALREADY and next year, come out and join us for lots of fun and satisfaction showing support for something we all believe in.
Hemp Industry Wins Stay
4/24/03 Late on April 16, the U.S. COURT of APPEALS for the NINTH CIRCUIT granted the hemp industry’s Motion to Stay the DEA’s “Final Rule,” which, under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, would have banned the sale of healthful hemp foods.The successful Motion was brought by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and several major hemp food companies in North America.
According to counsel for the HIA, “The Court’s order effectively prevents DEA from enforcing its ‘Final Rule.’ With this stay in effect, all those who sell, import, manufacture, distribute and retail edible hemp oil and seed, and oil and seed products, can continue those activities secure in the knowledge that such products remain perfectly lawful.”
Some natural foods in which hemp seed and oils are used include breads, cereals, nondairy milks, corn chips, and nutrition bars, to name but a few. Retail sales of hemp food products in recent years have grown from less than $1 million to more than $5 million annually.
Mistakenly thinking that hemp contains significant quantities of the psychoactive properties found in marijuana, the DEA’s Drug War has caused all varieties of cannabis to be lumped together and outlawed. As a result, the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.
Please visit votehemp.com for more information about hemp foods and other hemp products.
Canada Ready To Decriminalize
May 1 — Ottawa,Ontario: At the risk of ruffling US feathers, when a new nationwide poll showed that 83 percent of Canadians support it, Canada Prime Minister Jean Chretien reaffirmed his intent to remove penalties for possession and/or cultivation of up to 30 grams (slightly more than an ounce) of cannabis.
Chretien anticipates the introduction of decriminalization legislation within the next 60 days. Under his proposal, citizens possessing small amounts of cannabis for personal use would be ticketed, but not arrested or prosecuted. So far, twelve states in the US have enacted similar legislation.
Update — US Steps In
5/15/03 — Ottawa, Ontario: Immediately following a meeting between Canada’s Justice Minister Martin Cauchon and US “Drug Czar”, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Canadian Government officials announced May 14 that they are delaying the introduction of marijuana decriminalization legislation. The last-minute announcement came just one day before Canada’s Liberal government was to unveil their cannabis plan which was expected to have made the possession of up to one-half ounce a fine-only penalty.
The Bush administration, strongly opposed to any change in Canada’s pot policies, had previously threatened to oppose trade sanctions against the nation if Ottawa relaxes its marijuana laws.
Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation executive director, is sharply critical of the US government’s interference and noted that, “The US has a history of importing its failed drug policies throughout the globe, and using strong-arm tactics to ensure that other nations do not depart from those policies.”
Citing the recent Canadian Sun-Leger poll indicating that 83% of Canadians support cannabis decriminalization, St. Pierre continued, “Ottawa should be responding to the will of their expert committees and the public, not US drugwarriors whose anti-pot policies have been a failure both at home and abroad.”
Kansas Senate Approves Drug Treatment Bill
4/04/03 On April 3, on a vote of 27-13, the Kansas Senate passed the measure which would require judges to place some people convicted of simple drug possession into community-based treatment centers instead of prison. Offenders with prior convictions of violent crimes or convictions of manufacturing or selling drugs would not be eligible.
Sponsors of the bill believe that overcrowding of the state’s prisons would be alleviated, eliminating the cost of building new prisons or expanding present facilities. Kansas would save even more money by implementing the measure since drug treatment costs the state about a third as much as prison time.
SB 123 has advanced to Gov. Sebelius’s desk, where it is expected that she will sign it into law. (She has.)
Oklahoma Decriminalization Bill Fails
04/08/03 On March 12, the Oklahoma Senate approved a decriminalization bill on a vote of 26-19. The bill calls for the imposition of a $500 fine rather than imprisonment for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. No criminal charges would appear on the offender’s record and the matter would be handled much like a traffic ticket. SB #779 would also repeal some mandatory minimum sentences as well as ordering community service and treatment for some offenders.
On April 7 the Oklahoma House voted 13-84 against the bill even though a similar agreement already exists between Norman law enforcement agencies and the Cleveland County DA’s office. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and other agencies also support the bill. Bill Nations, D-Norman, sponsor of the bill authored by Sen. Bernest Cain, D-Oklahoma City, says he will keep the bill alive until the next session by returning it to committee.
Other states considering decriminalization are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan and Texas.
“RAVE Act” Passes
Regrettably, the latest version of the RAVE act—disguised as the AMBER Alert bill, a child abduction response system—was passed on 4/10/2003.
Thanks very much to everyone who helped us try to stop it. (Of course, this means only that we must intensify our efforts!) Please click here to take further action.
New Chapters Open In State
3/01/03 Welcome and congratulations to Kansas’ newest NORML Chapters:
Washburn Law School NORML in Topeka:
Contact: Zach Luea
This chapter has the great distinction of being the first chapter in the history of NORML to have been formed at a school of law and is comprised entirely of law students, staff and alumni.
According to recent information, another chapter will begin operations with the fall semester
at KU in Lawrence. We’ll be posting their info soon.
Why not form a chapter in your area? The time for involvement in the reform movement has never been better! Nine states already have some form of medical marijuana program and several others have medical marijuana or decriminilization legislation pending. National awarness is at an all-time high. If we unite our voices now we will be heard!
02/22/03 First, CNN’s Connie Chung Tonight, and now Dateline NBC has aired a very well done segment on Ed Rosenthal’s outrageous trial and conviction. Stone Phillips’ report was informative and unbiased, featuring interviews with Rosenthal and his jurors–all of whom expressed shock and anger at having been duped by their government. Phillips also interviewed members of law enforcement–including drug czar, John Walters and California attorney general, Bill Lockyer. Rosenthal’s primary detractor, current head of the Oakland city council, was interviewed as well.
We’re very happy to see our mainstream media presenting reports such as this to the masses. It’s a most welcome relief from all the outrageous marijuana propaganda we’ve been force-fed for so long!
If you missed the broadcast, read transcript here. After reading the transcript, be sure to scroll on down to the bottom of the page and rank the story for the network’s top ten list.
We’re Doing Better!
A recent report indicated that Kansas was 43rd, or in the bottom 10, of states whose residents were sending faxes in support of medical marijuana to their legislators. Only a week later, we’re out of the cellar! We’re not in the top 10 yet, but keep doing what you’re doing and we might make it. Wouldn’t it be exciting to see Kansas ranked as a top 10 MMJ-supporting state? Go here right now to send your faxes. It takes less than two minutes to send this vital message to our lawmakers in Washington.
It’s About Time!
Recently introduced legislation (H.R. 685), in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to repeal a short-sighted provision of the Higher Education Act of 1988, which denies federal financial aid to any student with a drug conviction. We must all take time to contact our Congressmen in support of this long-overdue legislation.
Another Freedom Fighter Victimized by the DEA
February 1 — San Francisco: Ed Rosenthal, former columnist for High Times magazine, author of numerous books on marijuana and its cultivation, one of the founders of NORML, and, most recently, cultivator for Oakland’s medical marijuana program was found guilty yesterday on federal charges of marijuana cultivation and conspiracy.
Because federal law overrules state law, Rosenthal’s defense was not allowed even to mention that he was cultivating strictly for medical use.
Federal rules do not acknowledge that marijuana has any medical benefits. Rosenthal is scheduled for sentencing on June 4, at which time he could receive the maximum life term! Jurors were under the mistaken impression that they had to follow the letter of the law and could not vote their consciences if they believed the law to be wrong.
This is why we must continue to press for fully informed jurors. According to our constitution,” if a law is unjust, juries have the legal right to refuse to enforce it”.
Feds Discover New Way to Waste Tax Dollars
2/25/03 “Operation Headhunter” and “Operation Pipe Dreams”, recently implemented by the federal government, have resulted in the indictment of more than 50 online paraphernalia distributors.
Why in the world is the Justice Department of the United States wasting limited resources by shutting down small businesses and prosecuting the owners — who PAY TAXES?
Targeting entrepreneurs when our nation faces increased risk of attack by terrorists exhibits a frightening lack of comprehension by our government as to which risks truly pose a threat to the safety of American citizens.
It is shocking that billions of taxpayer dollars continue to be spent, this time in a futile effort to keep rolling papers, roach clips and bongs out of the hands of responsible, peace-loving people who pose no threat whatsoever to national security.
We’d feel a whole lot safer if we knew our government were concentrating its resources on protecting us from terrorists instead of trying to save us from a bunch of happy, peaceful pot smokers.
Take Action Now
Some Good News
02/08/03: The drumbeat of reform is growing louder. First, we learn that the D.A.R.E. program for school kids is being discontinued in some locales. Apparently, their anti-drug propaganda was making many of the students to whom it was directed curious enough to experiment with the drugs.
Voices across the nation are being raised in opposition to the federal government’s persecution of Ed Rosenthal, cultivator of quality cannabis for the city of Oakland’s medical marijuana program. An uninformed jury convicted Rosenthal on federal charges of cultivation and conspiracy, then, upon learning the truth, expressed their outrage and called for the conviction to be overturned. A day or two later, The New York Times ran an editorial blasting the feds for their “misguided marijuana war”.
Next, the White House Office of Management and Budget delivered an assessment declaring that, “. . .DEA is unable to demonstrate its progress in reducing the availability of illegal drugs in the U.S. . . “. Also, according to the White House assessment, “DEA managers are not held accountable for achieving results.” The assessment includes ratings, scored on a scale of zero to 100, on various categories. The DEA scored ZERO in the “Results/Accountability” category! As a result, the Bush administration is cutting funding for the agency.
News from national NORML informs us that, in the month since the beginning of this year’s legislative session, medical marijuana, decriminalization and industrial hemp bills have been introduced in ten states, and probably will soon be introduced in at least five additional states!
NOW is the time for every one of us to contact our representatives and call for medical marijuana legislation. Do this often. They can’t continue to ignore marijuana and hemp issues if we don’t let them!
Kansas NORML’s News Bulletin
January 29 (Happy Birthday, Kansas!) — Wichita: We have just published our first hard copy news bulletin! We encourage every freedom fighter in Kansas to print, copy and distribute this 2-sided bulletin so that people without access to a computer can learn about Kansas NORML, our mission, and how to help.
Click for print-friendly files of current issue.
APATHY — Our Worst Enemy! November 14, 2002 — Wichita:
Month after month, it’s the same 8 or 9 people who show up at regular meetings of Kansas NORML. The same 8 or 9 people organize, promote and work the special events we hold to heighten public awarness of marijuana issues. The same few people often spend their own money to stage these events.
It’s not much of a problem to get people to attend free events, such as the recent Hemp Family Reunion, but what happens to everyone who enthusiastically joins up or expresses interest in or agreement with what we try to do? Where’s everyone who contacts us, saying they want to help? Once again, it’s the same few people who end up doing everything.
Playing in the Park
September 29, 2002 — Wichita: A warm and sunny fall day, talented musicians, interesting guest speakers, good food, and a variety of peaceful onlookers all came together to make the “first annual” Hemp Family Reunion an unqualified success. Despite a number of last-minute fiascos (cancellation of bands and sound system provider), the only complaint came from a Riverside resident who walked over to gripe about the noise during the initial sound check!
We extend special, heartfelt thanks to Steve Rosile, Libertarian candidate for United States senate, who came to our rescue with his sound system and expertise. We are also very grateful to Roam, a great band who pulled double duty by filling in for one of the missing bands.
We’re delighted to welcome several new members who joined up during the afternoon. We also wish to thank everyone who came out to show their support for Kansas NORML–your attendance is appreciated more than you know. With your continued support, we hope to make the Hemp Family Reunion an annual event, bigger and better every year!
Updated HFR News
September 20, 2002 — Wichita: Wichita bands Discourse on the Method, The Powerdrill Tragedy, and Roam have been lined up to play at the Hemp Family Reunion at central Riverside Park on the 28th. We may add another band to replace Candymine, who are unable to appear. Stay tuned . . . Members of Kansas NORML will serve hot dogs, chips, etc., and provide anyone who’s interested with the latest information on marijuana and hemp issues. Join us at the park for an afternoon of great music and a peaceful gathering of the “Hemp Family”.
September 9, 2002 — Wichita: We haven’t seen one yet, so this could be a HOAX, but we’ve heard about new billboards showing up around the state:
THINK IT’S DRY NOW?
JUST WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER!
(or something similar). If you see one of these alleged billboards, please let us know its location. We want to take its picture.
If these signs DO exist, coupled with the obvious intention of the DEA to target medical marijuana patients and state-sanctioned medical marijuana facilities, the need for renewed activist efforts should be glaringly obvious. Kansas NORML needs YOUR help! If you are appalled by recent developments and are worried about the continued intrusion of the federal government into state matters, PLEASE JOIN US in our “war against the drug war”. You don’t have to smoke pot nor do you have to have your identity revealed to join Kansas NORML. You don’t even have to join Kansas NORML to help us–just send us a contribution, no matter how small. All money received by Kansas NORML is used to fight the injustice of marijuana prohibition. (Currently, Kansas NORML is a not-for-profit organization, so your contribution is tax-deductible.) Please send whatever you can spare to:
P.O. Box 782761, Wichita, KS 67278-2761.
If you would like a receipt, please enclose a stamped envelope.
Thank you very much for any help you might provide.
September 3, 2002 — Wichita: The Hemp Family Reunion on September 28, 2002 will be held at CENTRAL RIVERSIDE PARK near the stage area. (The original location was Linwood Park.) We invite you to join us for live music, food, fun, games, and the opportunity to learn more about medical marijuana and related issues in Kansas.
Hemp Family Reunion
August 14, 2002 — Wichita: With a successful garage sale under our belts, Kansas NORML members are now planning The Hemp Family Reunion. We’ve set the date for September 28, 2002. High noon to 4:00 pm. Location: Central Riverside Park, stage area, in Wichita. There’ll be food, camaraderie, and who knows what else–we’re still working on the details. Stay tuned. Bring your usual stuff: blankets, lawn chairs, coolers (no alcohol) frisbies, games, whatever, and hang out in the park for a few hours with your friends from Kansas NORML.
We’ll have plenty of ACCURATE information available about medical marijuana, agricultural hemp, the harm caused by marijuana prohibition and more. Learn the facts and share the info with your friends, families, and LEGISLATORS.
July 1, 2002 — Wichita: Because Kansas South Central (KSC) appears to be the only NORML chapter left in the state, our officers recently unanimously voted to change our name to Kansas NORML. This decision was also based on the fact that we hold the ksnorml.org web address. Our original hope was that several more local chapters might be formed across the state, with Kansas NORML as the “parent” organization. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be happening. At the present time, there are about a dozen members of Kansas NORML working for reform of marijuana and hemp laws for every Kansas resident who enjoys using marijuana recreationally. A dozen of us are working for every Kansas resident who is suffering needlessly but could obtain relief if medical marijuana were available, and we’re working for every struggling farmer who could once again productively work his or her land if industrial hemp farming were relegalized.
That’s a lot for just the twelve of us to do! We need help, and YOU DON’T HAVE TO SMOKE POT TO BELONG TO NORML.
If you would like to form a chapter in your area, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to assist you in every way possible.
If any chapters exist of which we are unaware, please let us know about you so we can post your info.
Demonstration at Wichita DEA Office
June 6, 2002 — Wichita: Once again, only a handful of us intrepid souls were courageous enough to show our faces in public and advocate change in marijuana laws–particularly to demand that the Federal Government, aka The Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, STOP WAGING WAR ON SICK PEOPLE!!! Every time a state-approved medical marijuana facility is raided and closed down by DEA agents we have to wonder how the government of a nation founded on Christian principles can knowingly withhold from its seriously ill and suffering people the relief they so desperately need.
If you think that the DEA’s actions are moral and in our best interests, and that you or a loved one might never be forced to suffer needlessly, then continue to do nothing. If you believe, as we do, that marijuana should be legal at least for its medicinal uses, then help someone who might not be able to help himself: next time, show up and show that you care.—c.a. riley for KSC NORML
Update: Opportunity for Activism
June 4, 2002: We just received details of Wichita’s planned participation in the nationwide demonstration against the DEA (details below) for their continued actions against state-approved medical marijuana facilities:
Wichita, Kansas Protest will be at the DEA office. Participants will gather single file on the side walk proceeding south of the 1919 N. Amidon drive way entrance. This is private property, so it is suggested that persons park on the street and walk in so as not to chance the trespass on private property issue. Several thousand people could actually gather and fit on this stretch of lovely land winding south along the Arkansas River on the east side of the road.
Participants are requested to bring tinkling bells, triangles, gongs, to play as we express, and offer our energies encouraging change in the present drug laws. Please bring your flag, sign, and bell, and join us as we DEMAND THAT THE DEA STOP TELLING LIES!
Opportunity for Activism
May 30, 2002: A Coalition of marijuana and drug policy reform organizations are joining forces to launch a national day of direct action against the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) on June 6, 2002.
At dozens of the 100 DEA offices nationwide, citizens will serve “cease and desist” orders, demanding that the DEA end its war on medical marijuana.
Why June 6?
June 6 is the deadline for the US Justice Department to file its legal brief in federal court, explaining why it believes the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative (Oakland CBC) should continue to be forbidden to distribute medical marijuana to patients who can legally use it under California state law. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer is expected to rule against the Oakland CBC soon thereafter, unleashing a new wave of DEA raids.
(While it is true that DEA agents might raid medical Marijuana clinics before the national day of protest — just as the DEA has for the past seven months — June 6 is a logical day to highlight the cruelty of the DEA and the federal policies that prohibit medical marijuana.)
It is important to note that Judge Breyer will not be ruling on the eight state laws that allow patients to use, possess, and grow their own marijuana for medical purposes. All eight states will continue to protect patients and their primary caregivers from arrest under state law, regardless of Breyer’s ruling. But the DEA’s raids are still pointless, cruel, and hurtful to sick people who need a safe source of medicine.
Please use these websites for additional research: All medical research documents are listed at HempForUS.com, Americans for Safe Access, Media Awareness Project.
The Greater Wichita/Walton* Million Marijuana March of 2002
May 5, 2002: There may not have been a huge crowd of us, but about 35 brave folks from 1 to 87 years old all had the supreme satisfaction of peaceably demonstrating for our cause on Saturday, May 4th.
Carrying signs urging legalization, we marched from South Riverside Park, past the Federal Courthouse to Sedgwick County Courthouse, past the jail, and back to the park.
A hard-working photojournalist from Channel 12 documented the event and interviewed a few of the demonstrators afterward. It must have been a pretty slow news day in this area because our march actually made the 10 p.m. broadcast, where we were credited with having “about 50” participants. We attracted a lot of positive attention and shows of support from those who share our beliefs, if not our passion.
There was not a riot, no one was hurt, nor was anyone arrested or even confronted by the police–though 2 or 3 in a van were spotted snapping photos, presumably of everyone participating. They must have wanted pictures of peaceful people exercising their constitutional rights.
Everyone seemed to be having a great time on a God-given perfect spring day. Some of us hadn’t had so much fun since the sixties! I think everyone came away feeling good: we’d done more than just complain to each other about the “Reefer Madness” pervading our legal system.
The Million Marijuana March is an annual event, held on the first Saturday in May, with local participation in cities around the globe. The date for next year is May 3, 2003. Watch for details in a few months–with more time to prepare, we hope for a much larger turnout in 2003.
* Walton was the original city scheduled for MMM participation in this area, but marchers elected to merge with the last-minute Wichita event.
KSC NORML EXTENDS A HUGE
TO EVERYONE WHO SHOWED UP AND MARCHED WITH US THIS YEAR!!!