Pot Protesters Kick Back, Light Up; March Can Wait

September 1, 2008

Lincoln Park, CO — The fragrance of marijuana wafted over Lincoln Park this afternoon as about 100 pro-pot supporters openly puffed away and prepared for a march in support of their cause and favorite presidential candidate.

“This is a love in for Barack Obama,” shouted Richard Eastman over a blow horn. “Medical marijuana saves lives.”

The march was initially schedule to start at 1:15 p.m., and then pushed back to 2 p.m. About then, a band started playing for the crowd and by 2:45 p.m. the march still hadn’t started.

Eastman, 55, of Los Angeles, told the crowd he is HIV positive and has used medical marijuana since 1994, although he first used the drug in 1963 at age 10. The founder of Citizens for Safe Access travels around the country to promote his cause.

“AIDS nearly killed me, but refer never killed me. I have the heart of a 30-year-old. I have the lungs of a 30-year-old,” he said after passing a pipe to Miguel Lopez of Denver.

Lopez lit up and explained the cause. He said he supports “the responsible use” of marijuana by adults.

“It’s not about getting drunk and slobbering all over the floor,” he said. “It’s about having fun in a way that’s easier and not harmful.”

Nearby, a group of four 16-year-olds shared a pipe. A mother with her baby in a stroller watched the activities. A Denver police officer drove up, stopped and ordered several illegally parked cars moved while a huddle of a dozen users shared several joints and a pipe.

Not all marijuana supporters were happy with happening scene.

“Obviously, there’s some image issues here with the public use,” said Mason Tvert, who led a group that sponsored a Denver law saying pot use should be low police priority during the Democratic National Convention. “We support this cause but not what’s going on here today.”

Don Duncan, the California director Americans for Safe Access, said Barack Obama on one occasion said he supports stopping federal raids on medical marijuana users. Twelve states have legalized medical marijuana use, he said, but federal agents continue to arrest users and stop distribution.

“What I’m looking for is action from Barack Obama,” Duncan said. “We need to harmonize state and federal laws.”

Source: Rocky Mountain News

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