Protesters Rally to Legalize Marijuana

Through a quirk of the calendar, the pot holiday shared a date with Easter Sunday. Marijuana supporters planned 4/20 celebrations in cities across the country.

While people publicly smoked pot in Denver, speakers in Trenton urged a crowd of about 150 gathered at the statehouse to push state and federal lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize marijuana. They called on Gov. Chris Christie to do what he can to help medical marijuana patients.

Among those at the rally was Jawara McIntosh, the youngest son of noted reggae musician and pro-marijuana activist Peter Tosh.

"I realized early on how therapeutic marijuana could be," said Ken Wolski, founder of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana.

Sen. Mike Stack has proposed legislation to reform marijuana laws, which he calls "decriminalization."

The April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration, stepped into the mainstream in Colorado, the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana. Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park.

The 4:20 p.m. smoke-out in the shadow of the Colorado capitol was the capstone of an Easter weekend dedicated to cannabis in states across the country. Although it is still against the law to publicly smoke marijuana in Colorado, police only reported 63 citations or arrests on Sunday, 47 for marijuana consumption.

``It feels good not to be persecuted anymore,'' said Joe Garramone, exultantly smoking a joint while his 3-year-old daughter played on a vast lawn crowded with fellow smokers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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