Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Florida calls for Medical Marijuana Legislation

'Yes we cannabis': Group gathers to call for legalizing medical

By Tonya Alanez
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

8:07 PM EDT, September 19, 2009


Watch story video (1:37) -
http://www.sun- sentinel. com/videobeta/ watch/?watch= 28fe9076- 75d9-4b0c- a3\
64-1dd588f9c86f& src=front

They were fewer than 10, but the folks who gathered Saturday at a
beach-side intersection did so in the name of marijuana.

"Yes we Cannabis," read Matthew Alvarez's red, gold and green poster
board sign.

"I really don't even care if it's legalized," said Alvarez, 19, of Coral
Springs. "I want to see it de-criminalized for people like my mother who
has breast cancer."

Diagnosed April 24, Alvarez's mother, Sandy Cousino, 58, sat just paces
away in a beach chair. Several rounds into chemotherapy, she has lost
her hair and is battling the treatment's aching, nauseating, weakening

"If there were anything at all that would take away the side effects and
be legal, I would do it," she said.

And to that end, Steve Janowitz, 44, of People United for Medical
Marijuana, set up shop at a card table planted in the sand under a palm
tree near Sunrise Boulevard and AIA.

He was there collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to change
state law to legalize marijuana for medical uses.

A steady stream of tooting horns and encouragement greeted the sign

"Legalize pot!" a passer by shouted from a car.

The gathering was also part of a worldwide rally to protest Monday's
scheduled sentencing of a Canadian marijuana activists who sold
marijuana seeds online to U.S. customers to fund the movement.

Marc Emery, 51, editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine and head of the
British Columbia Marijuana Party, was arrested July 29, 2005 by Canadian
police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Under the terms of a plea deal, the so called "Prince of Pot," faces a
five-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison for a charge of conspiracy
to manufacture marijuana for selling the seeds to Americans.

Raya Sunshine, 25, of Fort Lauderdale, held a sign that read: "No
victim. No crime."

Sunshine, who is behind the fledgling organization Cannabis Awareness
and Research Brigade, said the turnout was sparse at Saturday's rally
but important.

"People seem to be timid to take a public stance about something that is
illegal," she said. "It's their right to protest and make the government
aware that they don't agree with the laws."

Tonya Alanez can be reached at tealanez@sunsentine l.com or 954-356-4542.

http://www.sun- sentinel. com/news/ local/breakingne ws/sfl-rally- for-pot-09\
1909,0,2099681. story

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