Canadian activists in Toronto, celebrating 420 holiday, rejected what they saw as their imminent loss of rights in light of the upcoming marijuana legalization in Canada.
The activists urged people to continue buying from their local dealers and boycott the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) as hundreds of people assembled to show their support to the green herb in Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square.
The 420 event ensued despite its inability to obtain a legal permit from the City for it to take place. It also had some few security officers watching over.
“So here is what I want you to do when marijuana becomes finally legal in this country, I want you to go your local dealer,” Tracey Curley, a long-time marijuana activist told the crowd attending the 420 event.
“When it becomes legal, I want you to boycott the OCS. The only thing OCS stands for is ‘Ontario cannabis sucks, if it is not grown by one of us’.”
In Ontario, the government will control the sale of marijuana through its 150 stores. Many Ontarians reject OCS as outright governmental monopoly over cannabis.
Curley’s slogan also echoed what many other Canadian activists fear: The loss of their hard-earned rights they fought for since decades.
“At this point of legalization, we are talking about the loss of access points,” she said. “I encourage to contact your politicians. If there is a shortage of the medical marijuana now, what it’s going to happen when recreational usage will be legal, who is going to suffer?”
Another activist Katy Perry, who spoke at the event, said her “battle” with legalization is not over.
Founder of the Home Grow OP Hydroponics, Perry invited the crowd to visit her shop because she promised “I will teach you” how to grow marijuana.
In the new laws governing marijuana, Canadians are allowed to grow four plants, and those who are sick, can have four.
Perry, who defined herself as a medical marijuana patient, expressed yet another popular sentiment. “Why are you taxing our [cannabis] prescriptions?” she asked. “We know the answer: Money.”
“They are going to force us into their distribution network, they will forcibly arrest any person, shut down any business that dares to compete with their monopoly,” she said.
“They don’t care that the industry already exists.”
Perry said there is already “a rich Canadian cannabis culture,” but “they are stealing it from us.”
“They don’t care that decades of prohibition, activists fought to educate and provide access points for consumers and patients across the country.”
“I’ve gold a solution: Grow your own. Grow your own. Do not give the government the satisfaction of collecting your tax dollars from cannabis sales,” she added.