Demonstrators for the legalization of marijuana included a Vietnam War veteran (left) and nurse Rain Baker (center).
Photos by Niki D'Andrea
The mini-rally's high point came during a discussion about House Bill 2541, which could allow employers to fire medical marijuana patients based on failed drug tests and allegations from colleagues.
And the most interesting person at the rally was probably Thane Eichenauer, a guy sporting hot pink hair under his ball cap and dressed in a suit with a rainbow tie. He's running for Mayor of Phoenix (yes, really).
The purpose of the Camp 420 demonstration was to protest the ongoing criminalization of marijuana. Asked if he supports decriminalization of cannabis, Eichenauer said, "I support legalization of all plants."
Attendees at the protest ranged from people in their 60s wearing tie-dye with marijuana leaves painted on their arms and legs to 30-something professionals in business casual attire to guys in their 20s wearing baggy pants and baseball caps. Many of them chanted "No more drug war!" and carried signs that read things like: "Legalize it," "No victim no crime," and "I am not a criminal. End marijuana prohibition now."
Among the crowd was Darris Mikl, longtime activist and former Phoenix NORML board member. "I'm an all-or-nothing kind of guy," Mikl says. "I believe god gave this to us, and no government or man should be able to take it away from me. A lot of people are ignorant to the benefits."
One of the more elaborate signs at the demonstration.
Niki has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and PHOENIX magazine, and is now a full-time freelancer.