“Burnside Burn” Celebration of Marijuana Legalization in Oregon a Huge Success

Spread the word about Portland NORML - Share this post!

Peaceful Event Filled the Burnside Bridge Beneath The Iconic Portland Oregon Sign, Portland Police Maintained Remarkable Restraint As Thousands Light Up

The end of adult marijuana prohibition came at the stroke of midnight, July 1, and a crowd that spanned the entire length of the Burnside Bridge gathered to celebrate the beginning of marijuana legalization in Oregon. A huge puff of marijuana smoke rose to the sky beneath the shining neon Portland Oregon sign that welcomes travelers into Old Town Portland.

“The end of prohibition has been a long time coming,” remarked Portland NORML Executive Director Russ Belville, “and we wouldn’t be celebrating this day in Oregon without the hard work of long time Oregon activists like Paul Stanford, John Sajo, Doug McVay, Madeline Martinez, and so many more, including those we’ve recently lost like Jim Klahr, Jim Grieg, Melodie Silverwolf, and Larry Kirk.”

Portland NORML Board Members Scott Gordon, Jennifer Alexander, and Kaliko Castille were on hand to help distribute educational fliers explaining Oregon adults’ new legal rights to possess marijuana and cultivate cannabis plants. Even as the line of people waiting to celebrate stretched across the bridge on both sides, filling the sidewalks and spilling into the bike lanes, Portland Police Bureau kept their distance.

“We are thankful that the Portland Police Bureau recognized this gathering as a peaceful celebration and allowed the large crowd to express their First Amendment rights free from interference,” said Portland NORML Deputy Director Scott Gordon. “Tonight’s gathering proved that people have nothing to fear from marijuana legalization and the people who enjoy marijuana.”

Portland NORML is the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and represents the interests of marijuana consumers. While legalization is a welcomed first step, it is only the beginning of reforms called for by the organization. Prisoners who remain behind bars for marijuana crimes must be freed. Marijuana consumers must be protected from discrimination in the workplace, as well as protection for parental rights, medical treatment rights, and Second Amendments rights that are still threatened despite marijuana’s new legality.

“We’ve achieved legalization,” Belville explained, “now we seek equalization. We will not stop until we have the same rights as beer drinkers and cigar smokers.

Print Friendly
Spread the word about Portland NORML - Share this post!

Russ Belville

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Bullshit it wasn’t a huge success unless you are looking at it from corporation’s view because I went their to celebrate not get free weed but after waiting in line for hours nothing was at the end of the line before 1 girl trying to tell the people the free weed is at some other location. I was expecting some sort of photo op set up or at least more then 1 person working there trying telling everyone to go somewhere else. I understand that there was no way for fully be prepared for this but you all should have know that that location and free weed would draw a huge crowd. I wish you all would have just said “bring your own weed and smoke it in front the sign at midnight” then it wouldn’t be a land grab event and maybe you all could of at least half controlled it instead of the shit show you all had

    • We’re sorry you had a bad time. But we were very clear that we were encouraging everyone to bring marijuana to share with people. We were very clear that non-cardholders can only carry an ounce and patients can carry 24 ounces. All the people I could see around me were freely sharing their marijuana with others. We cannot stop someone from telling people there is a line for their alleged 420lbs of weed to be given away and we can’t force them to live up to their word.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *