Since 1999, cannabis users around the world have reserved the first Saturday of May for the Global Marijuana March, an international response to prohibition that calls for freedom of the plant and amnesty for those who've been punished for using it.
As the name suggests, marches will be held in numerous cities around the world, including Coppenhagen, Munich, Bangkok, and Rio de Janeiro, as well as dozens of cities in the United States.
While Canadian cities like Edmonton, Calgary, and Montreal have hosted Global Marijuana Marches in the past, it seems that with recreational legalization on the horizon, fewer activist groups have planned to take part in the international event.
Based on our search, activists in just six Canadian cities will host marches tomorrow, on Saturday, May 5. Cannabis users, supporters and patients will take to the streets in Vancouver, Cranbrook, Toronto, Timmins, St. Catharines, and Halifax. (Do you know about an event we've missed? Send us a quick email.)
“The Global Marijuana March is an international day of cannabis celebration and protest against prohibition. Canada still hasn’t yet legalized cannabis, and more delays simply mean more ongoing injustice,” said Jodie Emery, parade leader in this year’s Toronto march, in a news release ahead of tomorrow’s event.
Below, we’ve listed all the info we could find about the six Global Marijuana Marches happening across Canada.
Vancouver’s Global Marijuana March will take place outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. Cannabis supporters are invited to attend anytime after noon, with the parade assembling at 1 p.m., and the march beginning at approximately 2 p.m. Participants will march from the VAG to English Bay, with festivities at the beach winding down by 5 p.m.
Residents of Cranbrook are invited to the city’s second annual Global Marijuana March, which will take place outside City Hall. The event will begin at 3 p.m. and wrap up around 6 p.m.
This year’s 20th annual Global Marijuana March in Toronto will coincide with the Rise Up Ontario Rally, featuring speeches by political candidates, industry leaders, and activists. Hosted by Sensible Ontario, a campaign group invested in making the province’s current recreational cannabis legislation more friendly to private retail and cannabis lounges, the event calls on Torontonians to “take action” against bad policy. Cannabis supporters are invited to Queens Park to kick off the event at noon. At 2p.m., Jodie Emery will lead the march from Queens Park to Bloor Street, East to Yonge, south to Wellesley and then back to Queens Park for the Rise Up portion of the event, which will begin at 4 p.m.
“The goal of this rally is to bring much needed attention to the major issues surrounding the Ontario government’s proposed cannabis retail monopoly,” reads a release detailing the event.
For the first time, the town of Timmins will host its very own Global Marijuana March. Organizers in Timmins have obtained event permits for not one but two locations in the city. Residents are invited to gather at 12:30 p.m., with a parade taking off from “the boat launch” (as per the event’s Facebook page) at 2 p.m., before it is escorted to Hollinger Park by police.
The largest city in Ontario’s Niagara region will host its inaugural Global Marijuana March. Beginning at Montebello Park at 12 p.m., the route of the march is unknown, but the event is set to wind down at 4:30 p.m.
Halifax will host a Global Marijuana March tomorrow afternoon at Victoria Park, beginning at about 2 p.m. Attendees can expect speakers, live music, vendors and a barbeque, as well as a march from the park to the courthouse, with plans to arrive at precisely 4:20 p.m.