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Sat, April 21, 2007

Accident mars marijuana gala

A gala event for one of Toronto's largest suppliers of medicinal marijuana came to a crashing halt last night when a wheelchair ramp collapsed and injured several people.

Those in attendance said there were "a lot of people" on the wooden ramp at the old Berkeley Church on Queen St. E., just west of Parliament St., when it gave way around 8:45 p.m.

"What's sad is that this is a congregation of sick people," lawyer Alan Young, one of the country's crusaders in the fight to legalize medicinal marijuana, said last night.

Witnesses said as many as eight people fell a couple of metres when the ramp collapsed, landing on top of each other in a heap.

Paramedics responded and initially took two people -- one man and one woman, both in their 40s -- to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Toronto EMS said three other "walking wounded" suffered "very minor" injuries and were later taken to hospital as a precaution.

Many people arrived at the gala after the accident and were shocked by the scene.

They had been expecting to have a night of fun out with friends and instead found Queen St. cordoned off with numerous ambulances, fire trucks and police cruisers parked out front.

The event was held to coincide with the pot smoking holiday known as 4/20.

It also marked the Toronto Compassion centre's 10th anniversary.

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