Sunday, May 4, 2008

Marijuana March: Keeping The Fire Of Pot Reform Burning In Seattle

The Seattle Liberate Marijuana March was quite a success, especially considering the rainy weather, with an initial turnout estimated at around 400 people at Volunteer Park, which grew all along the march route, and the Westlake Park crowd estimated at between 700 and 1,000 people for the finale. Big kudos to Joanna McKee, Martin Martinez, and Vivian McPeak for helping to make this thing happen.

The day began at noon in Volunteer Park, with the assembled throng marching and chanting through downtown Seattle (to the delighted thumbs-up, smiles and honking car horns of many passersby), and ended up at Westlake Park for speeches and musical performances.

Among the highlights of the day for me were rousing addresses by the first man who ever mounted a successful medical necessity marijuana defense in Washington, Martin Martinez of, and famed Seattle attorney and activist Douglas Hiatt, who may well be the hardest working man in the medical marijuana movement.

A recurring theme throughout the day was the memory of musician Tim Garon and his brave fight for life after being denied a liver transplant due to his legal, physician-approved use of medical marijuana. Tim's presence was felt most acutely when Hiatt, who represented him, gave one of the most moving and impassioned speeches of the day centering on Garon's struggle against the forces of ignorance and anti-marijuana prejudice.

Hiatt said Garon made him promise that he'd do all he could to prevent such a thing from happening to anyone else -- and he exhorted the crowd: "Help me keep my promise to Tim Garon."

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna says I can't have my legal medicine until I'm off probation or he'll put me in a cage, but lemme tell ya: it sure smelled good in Volunteer Park, along the entire march route, and at Westlake for the finale. You can bet I'm looking forward to October when I can finally do something effective about this constant nausea.

No comments: