Weather turns to pot at J-Day event
By JEFF NEEMS - Waikato Times
The pot was plentiful, but the punters and the sunshine were not.
Organisers of Saturday's J-Day in Hamilton said a cold and cloudy afternoon may have been the reason for a lower than expected turn-out for the cannabis law reform event. It was part of a worldwide "civil disobedience" in support of cannabis law reform.
Max Coyle, managing director of Sedition Promotions and co-organiser of the event at Hamilton lake's main stage, estimated 600-700 people attended throughout the day, with many drifting in and out throughout the afternoon, considerably fewer than the 2000 or more he had anticipated.
However, he felt J-Day was generating momentum as calls for an end to prohibition grew louder. "It's been going for 20 years and we're now seeing a new generation of people."
Saturday's crowd was made up largely of people in their early 20s, scattered across the bank in groups and openly smoking cannabis through various implements.
"These people are all voters, and that's a key thing," Mr Coyle said.
He felt many older cannabis smokers preferred to "fly under the radar" and had chosen not to attend J-Day, but a few of the older people who did show up were medicinal marijuana users fighting for the right to use the drug to ease pain or help deal with illness.
"It's really good we get a good turnout of medical users there are quite a few." Police said they had no complaints relating to the event, which had traditionally been trouble-free.