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Over 6,000 People Pack Amherst’s Extravaganja

fileAMHERST, Mass. (WGGB)–During Extrvaganja, clouds of smoke hover over the Amherst Town Common.

Thousands of Marijuana enthusiasts lighting up in plain sight, even though it’s illegal. “It’s public acts of civil disobedience, it is decriminalized here in Massachusetts, but what it is a civil infraction here. We work really closely with the police and the town. The police’s main purpose here is keeping the people of Amherst safe,” said Patrick Mund, treasurer of the UMass Amherst Cannabis Reform Coalition.

The coalition started the event in 1991 as an on campus demonstration.  Although people were arrested, that didn’t stop them from coming back out year after year until finally the group came to an agreement with the police that there would be no more arrests.

With the majority of Mass voters approving ballot question #3 in November, folks at Extravaganja hope legalizing medical marijuana will legalize it across the board. “Absolutely. Save a lot of money with all these people in jail for marijuana. You know, it’s nothing like these other crimes,” Art Laramee stated. “I would like to see medical marijuana as widely available to patients as possible until we legalize it. We believe it is a step on the path,” said Matt Sonnichsen, President of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition.

Public hearings on guidelines for medical marijuana were held on Friday in Northampton, and were supposed to be held then in Boston as well.

Due to the manhunt, those hearings are postponed until Monday.

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