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420 Winnipeg, 2015 – A Time For Change – Winnipeg Marches For Marijuana Legalization

Every year on April 20th, countless people of all walks of life come to the Legislative Building in Winnipeg to celebrate 420. This year, like last year was different from the usual where things are unorganized and mostly teenagers show up to smoke pot. This year like last year was a catalyst for change. Steven Stairs (marijuana activist who uses medical cannabis for his blindness caused by glaucoma) and Kristen Aldrich (Steven’s wife and long time activist) went through exhaustive work to plan and organize this year’s 420 event. From insurance to permits, not just for the march, but for raffle prizes (where proceeds went towards the 2016 420 event), the two had to jump through hoops to accomplish an incredible, admirable event. Despite the cold, it all worked out very well for the die-hard activists who really want to see change in the policies we’re faced with in Canada. Steven Stairs and Kristen Aldrich are pioneers in their own right. They’d tested methods and the boundaries of such marches and events, blazing the trails before anyone else does. When marijuana is inevitably legalized, people will look back to what Steven Stairs and Kristen Aldrich did in organizing such events and accomplishing them successfully.

With a full police escort, we marched from the Legislative Building grounds down Memorial Boulevard to Portage Avenue, chanting and making noise all the way to Portage and Main where we turned and headed towards the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and through the Forks area. We then marched back to Main Street where we turned on Broadway and walked all the way back to the Legislative grounds with tons of support from passerbys. The majority of people support the legalization of marijuana and that much is clear. So if the people are supposed to control the government, then why hasn’t it happened yet?

Police are put in danger by having to set out and arrest people for marijuana. Many know it will be legal soon and try to look the other way, but when they’re faced with a situation where they have to potentially ruin a person’s life by busting them for possession, there’s clearly a problem. It shouldn’t matter to the law what one does with their own body if they’re not hurting anyone else, and it’s quite clear they’re not really harming themselves with a thing like marijuana.
Then there are countless hoops medical marijuana patients have to go through to get their medicine, which in so many cases changes their lives for the better and makes them feel like their life is worth living which is a beautiful thing.

Once back at the Legislative Building after the march, we heard many speakers, from Liberal Party representatives to the Green Party’s Andrew Park.

We also heard emotional words from medical marijuana patients as well as cannabis growers.
Many great Winnipeg businesses donated expensive marijuana related items to the march for the silent auction.

I (Josh Sigurdson) got to do the countdown to 4:20pm due to Steven and Kristen being incredibly busy keeping things running at that moment. It was a lot of fun to do and it was a great crowd.
One of Steven Stairs’ favorite lines is “Patient’s rights are human rights!” One can’t argue with that.

More videos will be posted showing full individual speeches, so stay tuned!

We’ll see you at the next march!

Article source Winnipeg Alternative Media

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