Photo by Elvis Ramirez

10th Annual Medicinal Marijuana Benefit

Click here to see a slideshow from the benefit.

After dealing with the traffic around the American Airlines Arena, a friend and I made our way to Tobacco Road for the Medical Marijuana Benefit Concert. Parking was awful (and I suspect it was the reason for the quagmire that was the traffic around there) but we found a spot under the nearby overpass (like hell I was going to pay more than $10 for parking). We walked past all the bar patrons and into the patio. Seeds of Evolution was preparing for their set.

Now, when a person hears Medical Marijuana they immediately imagine the billowing smoke, the smell of pine cones and the tie-dye shirts, but there was none of that at this concert, except a couple of old hippies in tie dye. Were it not for the pictures of weed everywhere this could’ve been seen as a typical music festival.

When Seeds of Evolution started playing, people started tapping their feet and rocking back and forth, some people jumped right in front of the stage and started dancing. I don’t really know what to call their brand of music; modern funk is all that comes to mind. The only downside was that after a while the songs started meshing together, and I couldn’t really tell if they were still playing that song that started six minutes ago. That’s the problem with that kind of music, after a while it all starts to sound the same. They did do a good cover of OutKast’s So Fresh, So Clean.

Vibe One took the stage with them at one point and let out a couple of rhymes, it was impromptu for he had taken the stage earlier in the day.

People smoked, drank, and danced until they were directed to the main stage where Kuyayky, a band which plays Andean music, was beginning their set. The music was not only different, as instruments like guitars were joined by flutes and percussion instruments typical of the Peruvian region of the Andes, but awe inspiring. I didn’t really expect a band like that to be playing at this concert, but I’m glad that they support medical MJ.

After their set, one of the four people who are legally allowed to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes in the U.S. gave a speech.

“I’m a stock broker… I teach disabled sailing… and I play softball… I can do all this thanks to medical marijuana,” said the man. He took a baggy out of his shirt pocket and lit up one of the cigarettes. He implored those listening to contact their representatives in Congress and petition that medical marijuana be legalized.

During the speech, people in the crowd cheered. One person actually screamed, “You are the luckiest man in the world.” All I could think was, really? The man has a condition, which he did not specify, that causes him extreme pain. So much that he has to be stoned just to be able to lead a semi-normal life. Is he really that lucky?

These are the people that don’t understand that the purpose of this concert was to make people recognize that this could be used as a drug to help people, not as an excuse to get high on the weekend.

By the end of the speech, cars were starting to get towed, and people beat it out of there pretty quick. -- Elvis Ramirez

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