- 02 May 07
On May 6, Irish cannabis users will gather in Dublin city centre to mark International Marijuana Day
We have international women’s day, international no-smoking and car-free days, and we even have what amounts to an international Irish day on March 17 each year. Less well known is the fact that the humble cannabis plant boasts its own annual international day.
Indeed, this year, the international movement for cannabis de-criminalisation has co-opted an entire weekend – and it’s coming your way soon. The first weekend in May will see rallies, marches and carnivals take place in over 200 cities around the world, from New York and Vancouver to Johannesburg and Jerusalem. This year, that impressive list, for the first time, will include Dublin, where a march is scheduled for Sunday, May 6. Marchers will assemble at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 2pm and will proceed to Central Bank, via O’Connell Street, for a rally.
The rally will be preceded by promotional music events in Eamon Doran’s on April 25 and May 1. There will also be a concert on May 6 which, like the previous two shows, will take place at 8pm in the Temple Bar venue.
Tim Reilly, who is head of the organising committee for the event, hopes that it will generate debate on a topic which is generally clouded by hysteria and misinformation. “We aim to give a voice to people who use cannabis, and who believe it is their right to use cannabis without being branded criminals,” he said.
As highlighted by the ‘glass grass’ report in the last issue of hotpress, cannabis smokers face significant risks when they trade in the black market. The organisers hope that Ireland might one day have a community as strong as the UK community, which managed to draw attention to the shocking contamination of herbal cannabis. In this sense, the aim of the fledgling Irish cannabis community, in the first instance, is education of smokers, and to this end 14,000 leaflets are being distributed, urging smokers to shun impure and polluted products such as glass impregnated ‘grit weed’ and ‘soapbar’ hash – the latter containing all sorts of exotic substances, but very little cannabis.
The organisers of the march realise that their campaign is in the early stages and their aim is modest. “We want to create an atmosphere where cannabis is not a taboo issue. We want to have an open and calm discussion about it, because we believe that the current approach harms everybody and benefits only the criminals who run the lucrative black market,” Reilly said.
If you agree with him, you can join him in Dublin on May 6.
More information: www.wwmmireland.blogspot.com, www.globalmarijuanamarches.org