Photos of the 2011 Freedom Festival in Toronto
Queen's Park was engulfed in a haze of thick smoke on Saturday as weed-lovers and pot-defenders (not mutually exclusive categories) turned out for the 2011 edition of the Freedom Festival and Global Marijuana March. Some estimates had attendance figures as high as 25,000 (yes, pun intended) for what was likely the last year the event will take place under the shadow of the provincial legislature. Due mostly to the size of the event and its impact on the park, the City has indicated the festival will need to find a new home next year.
That's an interesting little coincidence as it was an Ontario court ruling that was the talk of the day. Matt Mernagh, who helped organize the event, recently won the right to be able to grow marijuana in Ontario after a Superior Court found the federal medical marijuana program unconstitutional for the degree to which it prevents patients from legal access to the drug. "We demonstrated that the medicinal marijuana program doesn't work in Canada. Less than one per cent of doctors are signing cards [for] medicinal marijuana applications, so the judge exempted me from cultivating marijuana because I can't get into the program," Mernagh told the crowd.
Although Ottawa has appealed the decision, the ruling could mean that growing and possessing marijuana will no longer be a crime as July 11, 2011.
Photos by Jennifer Krivel
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