Record Numbers Celebrate Cannabis on 4/20
CANNABIS CULTURE - Four-Twenty, the international day of celebration for the cannabis culture held annually on April 20, saw record numbers of marijuana consumers and legalization advocates at huge rallies across the planet this year.
Pot-puffing citizens from cities in Canada, the United States, and other points across the globe came out in force to proclaim their love for the cannabis plant and tell authorities it is time to end marijuana prohibition. Despite a few minor unexpected incidents in Vancouver and Toronto, the rallies were a huge success with activist organizers claiming their highest numbers ever.
Rallies were reported in Canadian cities including Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Ottawa and more.
US cities know to have rallies included Denver, New York, Boston, San Francisco, Oakland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Miami and many others.
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Pot consumers were also expected to hold rallies in Australia, New Zealand and other points in Europe (updates will be posted as they come in).
Cannabis Culture was on-hand for the celebration in Vancouver, where overcast skies and occasional rain didn't stop record numbers of smokers and vendors from piling onto the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery earlier and in stronger numbers than years previous.
Hundreds of vendors set up booths and patrolled the crowd, openly selling an amazing spectrum of marijuana strains, extracts, and edibles, as well as pipes, bongs, T-shirts and tons of other pot-themed products to a crowd estimated at over 10,000.
One one side of the Art Gallery, prominent pot activists including David Malmo-Levine, Jacob Hunter and Marc and Jodie Emery rallied the crowd and spoke about the dangers of current government drug policies. On the other side of the large building, live bands performed while onlookers smoked large bongs and budder tokes. Joints were thrown to the crowd for a massive 4:20 smoke-down that filled the air with a dense cloud of sweet and skunky smoke.
View photos from this years event in Vancouver on Flickr or view the gallery below.
Photos by Jeremiah Vandermeer
Toronto was also host to a massive rally nearly twice its usual size on 4/20 according to HASH MOB organizer Chris Goodwin.
"The event went actually better than I expected," Goodwin said. "Out of every event we've ever done, we never really got past that 2,000 people mark. This one was at least 4,000."
There were also a few strange unexpected incidents this year that organizers chalked up as "growing pains". At the Vancouver rally, paramedics were called when girls in two separate incidents suffered seizures. The girls left on stretchers but were thought to be okay.
In a brief incident in Toronto made into a media circus by local press, a fight broke out at 4:12pm between several men and an a gun (or replica of a gun - we are still trying to figure out for sure) was pulled. A cameraman from a local TV station was on hand to witness the beating of the man who pulled out the gun. Watch the video here. Though the incident lasted for only a few minutes, and was only noticed by a hundred or so people at the rally, the issue dominated newspaper headlines in Toronto.
This year also broke media-coverage records, with hundreds of stories published in mainstream newspapers, shown on television, and broadcast across the web.
Check out some of the media coverage below:
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Global TV at 4/20 in Vancouver
Video from YouTube.
Day of marijuana smoke-ins across Canada
by CBC News
Pot advocates gathered across the country Tuesday and puffed en masse to protest the prohibition of marijuana.
Supporters of the legalization of marijuana celebrate the so-called 4-20 event every April 20, lighting up joints at 4:20 p.m. local time in various parts of the country.
This year, smoke-ins were held from Toronto to Victoria and several points in between.
Nobody seems certain about the origins of the 4-20 tradition, but the pro-marijuana gatherings have been held across Canada and around the world each year for a decade now.
Pot advocates puff en masse to protest against drug laws
Pot advocates gathered across the country Tuesday and puffed en masse to protest the legal prohibition of marijuana.
The so-called 4-20 event held every year on April 20 is the "high holiday" for marijuana advocates, and smoke-ins were held from Toronto to Victoria and several points in between.
In Vancouver, the party/protest got started early and by noon there were about 2,000 people gathered in front of the city's art gallery.
Clouds of smoke rose over the conspicuously mellow crowd, hash cookies were on offer at three for $5, and an array of colourful pipes was displayed for sale throughout the crowd.
In one corner of the square, two men hung a sign that read "No Prison for Pot," and in the other a banner urged protest-goers to "Free Marijuana."
"We hot-box the outside. A huge cloud goes up. It's great," said Justin Thatcher, who has attended the event for five years running and was manning a booth for Cannibis Culture magazine.
Pot Smokers Out In Bay Area, Proud On High Holiday
by CBS News
Forget "Hippie Hill." For thoroughly modern marijuana smokers in the San Francisco Bay Area, the hip place to celebrate their movement's high holiday this year was the inside of a stretch Hummer parked outside a pot gardening superstore.
It was one of the more unusual places where marijuana legalization advocates lit up during the annual observance of 4/20, the celebration-cum-mass civil disobedience derived from "420" — insider shorthand for cannabis consumption.
Advocates in California trumpeted marijuana's rising commercial and political acceptance while producing collective clouds of pungent smoke — often under the watchful eyes of law enforcement officers who for the most part let the parties proceed. California voters in November will consider whether to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana for recreational use.
Coloradans smoke up for 4/20 day
by Fox News
DENVER - Pot smokers from Denver to Durango gathered to call for the drug's legalization.
Tuesday was April 20, or 4/20, a number used by many to denote marijuana. The festivities in Denver included a daylong rally in Civic Center Park. The Denver event included remarks from the director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
An unauthorized public smoking drew a large crowd to the University of Colorado in Boulder.
And in Durango, an evening concert wa planned to promote a proposal to decriminalize marijuana in small amounts for adults.
At the state Capitol, members of the House coincidentally marked the day by backing regulations for dispensaries that sell legal medical marijuana.
Thousands gather for April pot celebration
by The Vancouver Sun
Thousands of marijuana enthusiasts flooded the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery for the annual 420 stoner celebration Tuesday despite grey skies and drizzling rain.
"It's nice to have so many of us here," said Sasha Guindon, who has attended the pro-pot gathering for several years. "Cops can't really do anything because there are so many of us here. It's like a union."
More than 3,000 people, most appearing to be in their early 20s, filled the art gallery lawn by late afternoon. Vendors openly peddled everything from rolled joints, pot brownies and glass pipes to chocolate chip cookies, beaded necklaces and water. The smell of hotdogs -- coming from at least three hotdog vendors on the property -- wafted through the air, mixing with plumes of marijuana smoke.
Police presence was at a minimum, with officers mostly directing traffic.
Among the crowd were marijuana activist Marc Emery and his wife, Jodie, enjoying what could potentially be Emery's last April 20 as a free man before being extradited to the U.S. to serve a five-year jail sentence.
Emery, leader of the B.C. Marijuana Party and publisher of Cannabis Culture magazine, flagged the attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 2005 for selling and shipping marijuana seeds across the border through his online business, Marc Emery Direct Seeds. He was arrested and released on bail, and is now awaiting extradition orders that could come at any day.
Gun scare at Yonge-Dundas pro-pot rally
by CTV News
Toronto Police have charged a man with 13 offences after a firearm was spotted at a pro-marijuana rally at Yonge-Dundas Square.
The suspect was apprehended by police shortly after 4 p.m on Tuesday. Authorities confirmed late Tuesday it was in fact a real gun but said the firearm was not loaded.
There were some reports of minor injuries when people began running from the scene.
CTV Toronto reporter Chris Eby, who was at the rally when the disturbance broke out, said things became frantic when a member of one group of young men off to the side of the rally brandished what appeared to be a handgun.
People stood around the possible firearm as others knocked down the man who had brandished the weapon and made a citizen's arrest.
Some at the rally heckled the suspect as he was taken away, Eby said.
Pot smokers out, proud for 4/20 high holiday
by USA Today
OAKLAND, California (AP) — Marijuana legalization advocates across the country are expected to light up during Tuesday's annual observance of 4/20, the celebration-cum-mass civil disobedience derived from "420" — insider shorthand for cannabis consumption.
IGrow, a 3-month-old cultivation equipment emporium, got a 24-hour jump start on the festivities by sponsoring a "420 Eve" festival Monday afternoon.
Several hundred revelers lined up outside the 15,000-square-foot shop — security guards kept them at bay until 4:20 p.m. — waiting for the chance to revel in their drug of choice's rising commercial clout.
Inside the gates, they perused booths stocked with pipe-shaped lollipops and specialty fertilizers, entered a medical marijuana delivery service's raffle for an oversized joint and toured a 53-foot (16-meter) portable grow room with a starting price of $60,000.
"I wouldn't have thought we would be able to consume on site," marveled John Corral, 19, of San Jose, after he obtained a wristband that gave him access to the event's two "vapor lounges," one inside a stretch Hummer parked outside and another inside a companion Range Rover limousine.
Pot prohibition politely ignored
by The London Free Press
It was a bit like Guy Lombardo counting down to the New Year.
Except instead of the stroke of midnight, it was 4:20 p.m. And instead of popping the cork on bottles of champagne, the reggae musician urged the Victoria Park crowd to "Get your bong ready and spark that (stuff) up!"
And then the crowd lit pipes and joints of marijuana.
And frankly, it was a lot calmer than any New Year's Eve party I've ever attended.
It was all part of 420 Day, an annual counter-culture celebration for marijuana enthusiasts around the world.
While more than 1,000 people gathered in Victoria Park for Tuesday's event, larger crowds were expected elsewhere, including a gathering at the Vancouver Art Gallery (at which former Londoner Marc Emery, still awaiting extradition to the U.S. for selling marijuana seeds online, was expected to speak), a 420 film festival in Calgary and a celebration in Niagara Falls at Hwy. 420 and Victoria Ave.
"It's just a very peaceful day," said 19-year-old Kalen Charles-Dunne. "You've got people of every kind . . . brought together by something as simple as a plant."
'Respectful' crowd lights up at pot rally
More than 10,000 people lit up at 4:20 p.m. yesterday at a pro-marijuana rally at a packed Vancouver Art Gallery square.
“The government should stop wasting money trying to stop (people smoking it) and just make it legal,” said Adrian Barca, a 4-20 demonstration participant.
Vancouver police controlled traffic and blocked off Howe Street while turning a blind eye to the illegal activity lighting up behind them.
A police officer on crowd control said “we want to make sure everyone is safe.” He added the crowd has been “generally respectful, we’ve no problems at all so far.”
Barca said this is his third rally outside the VAG.
“I’ve never seen any sort of violence whatsoever.”
Pot advocate Guppy Fish showed up in a “free Marc” T-shirt — a reference to Vancouver’s Marc Emery who faces jail in the U.S. for selling marijuana seeds to Americans over the Internet. This is his seventh yearly rally.
“This is one of the busiest 4-20s I’ve experienced,” said Fish.
Ottawa 4/20 2010
Video from YouTube
BroBible Blazes 4/20 at CU Boulder
Video from YouTube
4/20/2010 Boston Pictures
by Mike Cann
Undisclosed University in Boston area at midnight with DJ Slim as reported in today's Boston Globe but MikeCann.net the source not cited several hundred partaking, Boston Harbor for the start of Dan Gervais' walk, to the Boston Common, Unregular Radio studios from 2-4pm, back to the Common and several hundred people partaking at 4:20pm, then WMFO from 6-8pm, a long day of celebrating. Also a big Suffolk U NORML party afterparty. Boston 4/20/2010.
Gone to pot
by The Boston Globe
Ah yes: This Day in History.
April 20 is notoriously Adolf Hitler’s birthday, the anniversary of the 1776 siege of Boston, of successful pasteurization in 1864, and of the horrible massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. It is also America’s fastest-growing holiday, known as 4/20. Call it National Stoners’ Day.
It started, of course, in California, almost four decades ago, when a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School supposedly congregated at 4:20 p.m. every day to smoke weed next to a statue of Louis Pasteur. (In my line of work, we call this a story too good to check.) 4/20 observances gradually spread to college campuses and have even been coopted by Hollywood. Two years ago, the memorably awful movie “Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay’’ opened on 4/20.
What is in store today? Well, if you missed the Extravaganja festivals in Springfield, Amherst, and Keene, N.H., over the weekend, to say nothing of the Girls4Ganja fashion show, 4/20 observances kick off here at midnight with a smoke-in on the roof of a major university library. (Not Harvard; not Boston University; you’ll have to guess.) Then it’s on to the harborside federal courthouse, where 26-year-old Connecticut construction worker Dan Gervais will begin his Walk Against Lies, which will take him all the way to Los Angeles, via Providence, Washington, D.C., and other major cities.
Marijuana fans celebrate high times on 4/20
by The Norwalk Reflector
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (MCT) - Today is the Fourth of July of weed.
At places such as Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Porter Meadow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Redwood Park in Arcata, Calif., thousands will light up in celebratory smoke-ins.
The collective marijuana smoke, honoring April 20 and the “420” numeric nickname for pot, will thicken right around 4:20 p.m. PDT.
That’s when this most unusual of holidays pays tribute to the legend of a group of 1970s high school students in San Rafael, north of San Francisco, who gathered at 4:20 p.m. everyday to smoke marijuana.
April 20 has morphed into a social, political and cultural event, with 4/20 fests lighting up college towns and urban centers from Seattle to Boulder to New York City.
In San Francisco’s Haight district, people are showing up and toking up, drawn by piqued awareness of the day and energized by a November ballot initiative seeking to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California.
“People are coming to Haight-Asbury like the Grateful Dead is back in town,” said long-time resident Jack Rikess. “They’re walking down the street and smoking joints. It’s going to be unreal. This could be the last illegal 4/20 in San Francisco.”
420 Vancouver 2010 Pot Rally at the Art Gallery
Video from YouTube
4/20 Smoke Out 2010 - Toronto
Video from YouTube
4/20 Smoke Out 2010 (Protestors chant shame to the gun guy after cops arrest him) - Toronto
Video from YouTube
Vancouver’s 420 rally sees thousands gather for marijuana
by Miranda Nelson, The Georgia Straight
Yesterday (April 20), thousands of people attended a peaceful gathering at the Vancouver Art Gallery to recognize 420, an annual celebration of marijuana culture.
Despite intermittent rain throughout the day, the grounds were already packed by the time the Straight arrived on the scene at 1:00 p.m., with the more weather-wise revelers hiding out in pup tents erected on either side of the steps on the south side of the gallery.
Crowd estimates for the event are always difficult. This year, some spectators guessed that there were 5,000 people on site while Cannabis Culture put the number closer to 10,000. Since I have absolutely no idea how to gauge the size of a crowd, I’m going to say it was “a lot”.
Now in its 13th year situated at the VAG, the day full of speeches, music, celebration, and, of course, a whole hell of a lot of toking.
Vancouver 4/20 from above
4/20 on Canada's Parliament Hill
by Spanner McNeil, Cannabis Culture
CANNABIS CULTURE - One of Canada's biggest crime sprees settled down on Parliament Hill this April 20th to a sunny afternoon of indictable smoking. Over 3,500 people packed the Hill by four o'clock and dozens more continued to stream in.
At 4:20 the thousands cheered. There were banners, beavers, guitars, friendly faces and lots to smoke.
Across street from pro-pot rally, House rolls out medical-marijuana rules
by John Ingold, The Denver Post
As a cloud of skunky smoke wafted over a pro-marijuana rally across the street, lawmakers at the state Capitol on Tuesday battled over regulations for the medical- marijuana industry.
The debate inside, where the full state House ultimately passed a bill to create rules for marijuana dispensaries, focused largely on the nuts and bolts of the new regulations: licensing requirements, tax policy and signage rules. The major changes the House made to the bill mostly rolled back concessions dispensary owners had won earlier in the legislative process.
Lawmakers restored language to the bill, House Bill 1284, that would let local governments or local voters ban dispensaries in their communities. They removed the ability for medical- marijuana patients to consume cannabis-infused products at dispensaries. And they toughened criminal background-check requirements to bar anyone ever convicted of a drug-related felony from operating a dispensary.
At one point during the hours-long debate, a lawmaker argued against a proposal by saying it was unprecedented, to which Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder, remarked: "We're essentially setting up street-corner marijuana shops. If the intent of this bill is not to break new ground, we've already gone beyond that."
The bill still needs one more vote in the House before going to the Senate for debate.
4/20 Trips Me Out
by Jeremiah Vandermeer, Cannabis Culture
This 4/20 was a real trip: thousands of cannabis-loving citizens rallying together for a day of peaceful protest and celebration - and on the same day, Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson appears from the shadows of Ottawa to re-announce the Conservatives' War on Marijuana Culture.
The crowd at the Vancouver Art Gallery gathered much earlier this year, and I commented to several of my friends and fellow activists that there were more people assembled at 10:30am than last year at noon; the grey clouds looming overhead didn't deter the many dedicated smokers.
"When I looked out the window this morning and saw that it was raining I thought, only the hardcore people are going to show up," notorious 4/20 Master of Ceremonies David Malmo-Levine shouted to the crowd. "And it's true, we're all hardcore!"
The Brave And The Bold
by Spanner McNeil, Cannabis Culture
CANNABIS CULTURE - Ottawa, Parliament Hill, April 20, 2010 – Drug-crazed youth went wild in uncontrolled criminal mayhem on Parliament Hill.
Thousands chanted, "Off the pigs." Khaki clad youth held up copies of Chairman Mao's little red book singing, "Eat the Rich." Long haired bearded students wearing Karl Marx t-shirts were shouting,"Down with the system. Revolution now!" Women in white helmets made speeches on top of burning overturned police cars.
Riot squad buses formed a double line on Wellington Street while hundreds began trashing local banks. Five columns of shield wielding police waded into a crowd swinging their sticks all afternoon while black clad anarchists threw tear gas grenades back into police lines. Is that what you thought?
No. No it wasn't that way at all.
Boston 4/20/2010 Photos ( MikeCann )
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