The 40th Annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival drew thousands to Madison, Wisconsin, and hundreds of them participated in the march on the Capitol.
Hundreds of marijuana advocates marched down State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday, asking for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Some of the protesters spoke of the benefits of a more far-reaching legalization of cannabis.
In what has become an autumn tradition in Madison, pot advocates observed the 40th annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, held annually from October 1-3, with most attendees joining the march and finishing the weekend with a rally on the Capitol steps, reports Lucas Molina at The Badger Herald.
A visible line of police monitored the crowd throughout the day.
Ben Masel, who organized the annual festival with the aim of educating the public on cannabis and hemp, warned attendees about the legal risks of smoking marijuana at the rally.
“We are here and have the right to assemble and protest the law,” Masel said. “But that does not make it actually legal to light up here… If you do within 10 feet of a cop then you will be ticketed.”
But Madison Police Sgt. Jason Ostringa said he was not aware of any arrests or citations related to the event.
“It would open up millions of jobs,” said Madison East High School student Jacob Winkleman, reports Channel 3000. “Make it into paper, you get up a paper company, make a new clothes company, oils, foods, tea, you know, whatever, medical uses. It just makes money and would better the economy.”
Many of the protesters at the state Capitol spoke against Wisconsin legislators who refused to pass the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act last year.