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A rally in Amherst to push for national marijuana reform contrasted with a pre-St. Patrick's Day celebration that resulted in violence and dozens of arrests.
The 23rd annual Extravaganja, which is organized by the UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition, drew a crowd of thousands on Saturday. It's intended to highlight efforts to change marijuana laws from decriminalization to approval of medical marijuana to legalization for recreational use.
The Springfield Republican reports that Sebastian Vivas, president of the UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition, says thousands of people smoking marijuana with no public safety issues, in contrast to last month's gathering that led to an alcohol-fueled melee proves that marijuana laws need to be changed.
He says alcohol, which is legal, can lead to chaos and marijuana is illegal while it causes no public problem.