It is that time of year again. Friday April 20th over 10,000 people will gather outside the steps of the VAG (Vancouver Art Gallery) to celebrate and smoke the lovely Mary Jane.
This year has over 30 bands playing on the steps of the Art Gallery, including one of our favorite island reggae bands Rocky Mountain Rebel Music! There will be rolling, smoking, dancing, smiling and a lingering cloud of smoke as BC enjoys some of its finest.
Just thought i’d post a little bit of information about the infamous 4:20 day to get ya’ll ready for the celebration.
April 20 observances
April 20 (4/20 in U.S. date notation) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Some events have a political nature to them, advocating for the decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in Canada, New Zeland and the United States.
Annually, on April 20, thousands of activists gather on Parliament Hill and Major’s hill to look toward the peace tower as they join each other in smoking marijuana when the clock strikes 4:20. Police keep an eye on protesters to make sure the peace is kept within correlation to law.
Every year on April 20, thousands of people gather at the Mont-Royal monument to celebrate 4/20. Police don’t make arrests, although they do make their presence known.
Each year on 4/20 thousands gather at Victoria Park downtown to celebrate. Over 2000 people joined the festivities in 2010 that included live music. London police made a presence but announced they were not going to lay any marijuana related charges. London is also the hometown of Canadian cannabis policy reform advocate Marc Emery.
Every year on the first Saturday in May(in observance of 4/20), a march takes through the city streets in advocacy of legalizing marijuana. The march ends up at Queen’s Park Circle just north of the Ontario Provincial Parliament to celebrate 4/20 where there are both vendors and entertainers. Though the event is police-patrolled, no tickets were issued in 2010 while over 30,000 people participated in the revelry.
Vancouver, British Columbia
On April 20, 2009, an estimated nearly 10,000 people gathered around the Vancouver Art Gallery to celebrate “420”. The police did not attempt to make arrests. This event has taken place in Vancouver annually for many years, and the police are generally tolerant of all marijuana use on April 20, and most other days.
New Zealand observance
In Auckland, New Zealand a 420 group meets regularly at the Daktory.
In Dunedin, New Zealand, members of Otago NORML and some students at University of Otago meet every Wednesday and Friday at 4:20 pm under a Walnut tree on the University’s Union Lawn to smoke cannabis in defiance of New Zealand’s cannabis law. There was considerable media and police interest in the ‘420’ group in 2008, resulting in the arrest of a student and the issuance of trespass notices to members of the public at one of the 4:20 pm meetings. The group leader was arrested for cannabis possession at a university Market Day unrelated to the 4:20 meetings, but was later discharged without conviction on all charges. The group celebrated their 5th anniversary on 11 September 2009.
San Francisco, California
Every year thousands of people flock from all over California to San Francisco’s Hippie Hill, located in Golden Gate Park near the famous Haight-Ashbury district.
University of California, Santa Cruz
A celebration on April 20 takes place every year in the Porter College meadow at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The event has grown during recent years after the city of Santa Cruz passed Measure K in 2006, making marijuana a low-priority crime. Participants in the event are often confronted by religious anti-drug activists, yet these protesters are largely ignored.
Students and others gather to smokecannabis at a meadow near Porter Collegeon April 20, 2007—”420 Day”.
University of Colorado, Boulder
A large celebration is held every year on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus, with attendance reaching more than 11,000 in 2008. It has been estimated that in 2009 the crowd surpassed the 10,000 attendee mark that was set in 2008. This would make CU Boulder’s celebration of the hopeful legalization of marijuana one of the largest such celebrations in the United States. University police have tried various methods to prevent the gathering, including photographing students participating in the event, but the crowd has grown every year. The university and police have taken a more hands-off approach since 2006, emphasizing event safety over possession citations. Recent growth of the medical marijuana industry in Colorado is expected to add momentum to future events.
On April 15, 2009, the Office of the Chancellor sent an e-mail to all CU students regarding the 2009 celebration of 4/20 stating that the event would debase “the reputation of your university and degree.” The CU student newspaper disagreed with the Chancellor’s analysis.
No possession tickets were issued at the 2009 event.