(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) – Canada’s first Medical Marijuana & Hemp Expo was held in Toronto this past weekend and was expected to draw up to 30,000 people. It was billed as “the first expo promoting the respectable and responsible use of marijuana as medicine.”
Organizers said the expo was not just about getting high, but about informing the public of the benefits of medical cannabis.
“We’re not trying to promote: ‘Come down to the convention centre and get stoned.’ This isn’t what it’s all about,” expo organizer Marco Renda told the CBC . “This is about educating yourself on the benefits of cannabis as medicine.”
“There have been other marijuana events in Canada and while they may have served a purpose for awareness, none of them have focused solely on the people with the most to gain medically from cannabis – the patients whose suffering is eased by the responsible use of the plant,” Renda also told the Toronto Sun “I don’t think anyone denies that some people have a real need for the benefits of medical marijuana.”
While marijuana was not available on the site, people with a license for medical marijuana were encouraged to bring their own stashes and try out a wide variety of vaporizers, which are devices that help smokers more easily inhale the cannabis.
Marijuana seeds and pipes were also available for purchase.
Canada allows the medical use of marijuana, although there’s a lengthy process involved in obtaining legal clearance.
Show manager Jim Mahon argued that marijuana has been proven to help people cope with a variety of illnesses ranging from migraines to multiple sclerosis.
Admitted “pot-head” Stephen Hayes was excited to check out the expo.
“I’m really into this kind of stuff. It is interesting to see what is here and it is just a fun day,” Hayes told the Toronto Sun. “Smoking should be legal because it helps relax you. If alcohol is legal then why not weed?”