Million Marihuana March is May 5

The annual demonstration is aimed at making cannabis legal on a free market

Prague's annual Million Marihuana March takes place Saturday, May 5, and starts at 12:30 pm at Karlovo náměstí. The march, which attracts thousands of people hand has several music trucks, will go through the city center and end up in Štvanice ostrov.

There is a large program with live music, DJs and seminars on the island from 2:30 pm to 10 pm.

The purpose behind the march is to encourage the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational uses, and the draw attention to the what organizers call the absurdity of the current laws and the problems with prohibition. The event is hosted by Magazin Legalizace and Legalizace.cz.

“It is high time today to show that cannabis is not just a drug for non-adaptive subcultures, as the media often claim. It is a plant people from all parts of society cultivate and use for their own benefit, whether for medical treatment, mental well-being or personal development,” demonstration organizer Robert Veverka said in a press release, adding that both cannabis and people who used it deserved respect.

The organizers say many important questions will be addressed at the demonstration such as how cannabis is perceived by Czech society and what the success of the Pirate Party in a recent parliamentary election means for the local legalization movement.

Other topics include how to make it available to the sick and reduce black market, and how to avoid risks accompanying the use of mind-altering substances and facilitate their potential for healing and personal development.

“All of these topics and more will be discussed during the 21st year of Prague’s demonstration and happening for cannabis legalization – Million Marihuana March. With this march, the Czech Republic is joining hundreds of similar happenings under the same label all around the globe,” the organizers say.

“Join us to express your disagreement with the current state of laws! Cannabis is a people’s plant, every adult person should have the right to grow and use it.” they add.

The organizers claim it is a myth that marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs, Instead, it can improve health and ease suffering. 

Currently cannabis is illegal for recreational use. Personal possession has been decriminalized since Jan.1, 2010, and medical cannabis has been legal since April 1, 2013.

The law says possession of up to 15 grams of dry cannabis for personal use, or cultivation of up to five plants, is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to Kč 15,000, but fines are usually lower. Possession of larger amounts can lead to a jail sentence of one year. Trafficking has a maximum penalty set at 18 years.

Medical use of cannabis allows for 180 grams of dry matter per month, prescribed by specialized physicians, and can be obtained using an electronic prescription form.

In practice though, medical marijuana remains largely unavailable due to problems with the supply chain. The law calls for domestic growers, but the certification process is difficult.

This forces people who need medical cannabis to resort of growing their own or using the black market, though this is not ideal.

“The legislative situation regarding cannabis remains unsustainable. A profitable black market leads to the support of organized criminal groups and to human suffering that we must not be indifferent to. The decades of prohibition and repression are obviously not working, as cannabis users are constantly on the increase worldwide, and the only proper solution is to authorize the cultivation, possession and use of cannabis and consequently the emergence of a regulated market,” Veverka said.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/events.

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