Three years ago, Sean LaPierre was toolin' around Fort Lauderdale, just minding his own business, when he was rear-ended by a semi truck that seemed in no hurry to slow down. Now, in most situations, that would be the end of the story. But LaPierre didn't wind up a grease spot on the side of the road. Aside from two herniated disks in his back, LaPierre came out on top.
Unfortunately, herniated disks don't go away. LaPierre had toked the reefer recreationally since age 27, but after meeting Erv Rosenfeld, one of seven people approved by the federal government to use marijuana medicinally, he changed his tune from recreation to medicine.
"As soon as that happened [meeting Rosenfeld], something inside of me just said, 'Well, there it is. There's just more proof,'" he says. "So during this time of my accident, I was, of course, self-medicating."
Although Rosenfeld, who suffers from a rare condition causing tumors to grow throughout his body, puffs up to 12 joints a day, LaPierre uses far less, about half a doobie a week. Of course, under current law, even that minute amount is brazenly illegal, so LaPierre, along with a legion of others, has decided to do something about it.
The Million Marijuana March takes place this Saturday in cities across the world, from Abbotsford, British Colombia, to Zagreb, Croatia. LaPierre and others will be on hand at Stranahan Park to get people to sign a petition to put a medicinal-marijuana bill up for a vote. While Cures Not Wars, the organization orchestrating the global event, supports the legalization of cannabis, here in Fort Lauderdale, medicinal marijuana and hemp legalization are the order of the day.
Hemp is the nonspacy form of cannabis that has the second-highest amount of protein among vegetables (next to soybeans) and unlike soy can also be used for clothing, fuel, and just about any other use that George Washington Carver claimed for the peanut.
"I'm after the medical aspects, the food aspects, the healthiness of this whole hemp issue," LaPierre says. "I want this done responsibly.... This is a great plant; there are so many uses for it. Let's do this responsibly and see where it goes from there. Let's at least get some documentation on the benefits before we go and judge the issue."