by Dixon Guizot / Exclusive to OB Rag /
About 75 demonstrators calling for the legalization of marijuana marched on the Pacific Beach boardwalk between Crystal Pier and Belmont Park on May 1. Participants spoke on a megaphone and carried signs with messages such as “Respect State Law,” “Prohibition Empowers Drug Lords,” and “Marijuana Is Better Than Alcohol.”
The two-hour march, which began at 11am, was organized by the Southern California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and a San Diego marijuana dispensary. SoCal NORML director Craig Beresh led the group in chants encouraging the legalization and taxation of marijuana.
“This is an event we did in 300 cities across the country, to support legalization and safe access for patients,” said Beresh. “That’s what we want to get. Legalization across the United States. Paint the White House green.”
A clear majority of observers seemed to support the demonstrators, as dozens of passers-by applauded and voiced their support. At one point, a man came out of a boardwalk residence holding a water pipe – more commonly called a bong — and triumphantly displayed it to the marchers, who responded with delight.
During the march, Beresh also called for the passage of HR 3939, the Truth in Trials Act. HR 3939, currently in Congress, would require federal prosecutors to acknowledge state-level medicinal marijuana laws in court when prosecuting marijuana offenders who believed they were operating in accordance with the state laws.