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(CAN) Pot Activists To Picket School Drug Talk

Denouncing as a smokescreen a city police drug awareness session, cannabis community activists plan to picket a southeast high school tomorrow in response.

Members of the pro-marijuana legalization group Calgary 420 said for the first time they’ll greet with placards attendees — expected to be both adults and students — at Forest Lawn high school tomorrow night to hear police discuss the dangers of drugs.

Group founder Keith Fagin said he’s fed up with fearmongering on marijuana and expects about a dozen activists to join him handing

out brochures on public property next to the school at 1304 44 St.  S.E.

“We’ll be handing out scientific information trying to sway them from continuing their reefer madness insanity,” said Fagin, who’s consumed marijuana for 35 years and uses it to alleviate symptoms of severe muscle deterioration.  Fagin acknowledged picketing a school may raise public — particularly parental — hackles and that he’s met with verbal resistance at previous school events.

But he said it’s not his intent to advocate drug use, rather to point out the futility of what he calls “the lies” told to young people about marijuana and the dangers of tougher drugs laws being proposed by Ottawa.

“Lying to them’s not going to work,” he said, adding numerous government studies have called for more liberalized marijuana laws.  “It’s not my biased opinion — why isn’t the government listening to their own studies?”

Fagin said his attempts to be part of the awareness session panel have been rebuffed but that he plans to attend the event and pose questions.

“I’m not there to be disruptive, I just want to ask them questions and hopefully I’ll be able to talk but it doesn’t surprise me they don’t want to debate,” he said.

Police have warned about the mental and physical risks of what they call the much greater potency of contemporary marijuana.

A spokesman for the public school board wouldn’t comment, saying the event isn’t being organized by the district.

Calgary 420 holds several downtown demonstrations a year where police have arrested some participants for drug offences.

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