Over 20,000 Canadians march for legalizing marijuana

Some 20,000 marijuana advocates marched on the streets of Canada's largest city Toronto on Saturday, calling for legalizing the drug.

The demonstrators, taking part in the ninth annual Global Marijuana March being held in 232 cities, blew smoke on the lawn of Queen's Park in Toronto and puffed away as they marched the streets, reports reaching here said.

"It's incredible that 20,000 people are meeting only 100 yards from the legislature to demand that marijuana be legalized, to celebrate our culture and to defy the law with almost open sanction of the entire City of Toronto," said activist Marc Emery from British Columbia nicknamed Canada's "Prince of Pot."

Last year, about 12,000 residents took to the streets of Toronto. "This is obviously its largest," said organizer Neev Tapiro.

Organizers said the annual event in Canada continued to grow because the majority of Canadians believed related laws should be relaxed.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin tried in 2004 to decriminalize the possession of marijuana but failed. Under a bill introduced in 2004, possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana would be made a ticketable offense without a criminal record. The bill did not pass in parliament.

Source: Xinhua

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