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Walking to free the weed


Connecticut man crossing U.S. for medical marijuana



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Above, Drug Policy Forum Massachusetts member Michaelle Merced, left, of Southbridge and Dan Gervais, right, discuss their support for legalizing marijuana for medical use with a passerby during a stop in Southbridge Friday. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
April 26, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Unlike Forrest Gump, who had no particular purpose for his cross-country trek, Dan Gervais is traveling by foot for a reason: to push for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

Gervais, 26, of Plainfield, Conn., is walking across the country, partly to push for a proposed state law that would establish a medical marijuana use system. Gervais stopped outside the Southbridge post office Friday afternoon to hold a press conference and gather signatures for a November ballot question that would, if approved, ask state Rep. Geraldo Alicea, D-Charlton, to vote in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. The question would be non-binding. Gervais is also raising money for non-toxic alternative chemotherapy research.

"It would be a good way to get attention for this cause," he said of the walk, as he stood outside wearing a Bob Marley T-shirt. "I've always wanted to see the country."

Gervais, a construction worker, started his walk Tuesday, April 20 at Boston Harbor. The digits 420 (which coincide with the April 20 date) are often used as slang for smoking marijuana. Gervais acknowledged that is why he started his walk that day.

See Monday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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