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Advocates of the legalization cannabis have been holding the annual event each first Saturday of May since 1999.
Thousands of people in different cities around the world are taking part in the Global Marijuana March (GMM), an annual rally held on the first Saturday in May since 1999, to support the legalization and regulation of cannabis.
March organizers in Argentina said they are seeking cannabis legalization to enable people to use the plant for health-related purposes, and to the criminalization of growers and users' unjustified arrests.
"We propose that cannabis be an option among other legal drugs, some of which have devastating consequences. ... We want to be able to choose," said Carina Prietto, an Argentine mother and patient rights activist.
In Mexico, which is the world's second largest cannabis producer, the Security and Citizen Secretary government agency launched a Twitter poll in March asking people if marijuana for recreational purposes should be legalized. Some 81 percent of those polled said they want weed to be legalized.
¿El uso de la marihuana para fines recreativos debería ser?
— Secretaría de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana (@SSPCMexico)
March 25, 2019
Should the use of marijuana for recreational purposes be? ... legal? illegal?
"The social media survey is the latest sign that the President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) administration is seriously considering bold marijuana reform at the national level," Kyle Jaeger, a Marijuana Moment journalist commented.
The government's 2019-2024 National Development Plan (PND) states that the nation's current anti-drug strategy "is already unsustainable not only because of the violence it has generated but also because of its scarce public health results. ... The prohibitionist model inevitably criminalizes consumers and reduces their social reintegration and rehabilitation opportunities."
The president's PND says the government new strategy to curb violence and drug addiction is to "lift the ban" on drugs that are "currently illegal."
"The only real possibility of reducing the levels of drug consumption is to lift the ban on those that are currently illegal and reorient the resources currently designated to fighting their movement and apply them in rehabilitation and detoxification programs," reads the administration's guiding document.
In the Czech Republic the ‘Million Marihuana March’, as the event is also called, ended with a concert, debates on the topic, and a market where vendors sold varieties of cannabis-based products.
“This year’s event is attended by the Czech Pirate Party leaders who have submitted a bill to the Lower House to allow people to grow marijuana for their own usage,” Radio Praha reported.
In the United States, the Illinois governor Jay Robert Pritzker announced Saturday a plan to legalize recreational marijuana starting in 2021.
“It would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries. Illinois residents could possess up to about an ounce of marijuana. The legislation also would automatically expunge some marijuana convictions,” the Daily Journal reported.
Up to now, recreational marijuana has been legalized in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and California.