CANNABIS CULTURE – Vancouver’s vociferous pot community will host its annual Cannabis Day celebration today at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where thousands will convene to hear political speeches and live music – and take part in the world’s only open-to-all recreational marijuana farmers market.
Cannabis Day organizers expect the crowd will number in the tens of thousands, and will entice passer-bys with a roster of live bands and DJs, weedified contests, and free joints by the thousands, many blasted out to the crowd from air-powered cannons.
The event has a long history dating back to the 1970s, and has grown with the help of Marc Emery and other sponsors from a political protest against drug prohibition into a full-scale marijuana farmers market. Now shoppers can find a colourful rainbow of cannabis strains and edible pot goodies of every type and flavor imaginable.
For years Vancouver Police struggled in vain to stop public marijuana sales at Cannabis Day and 4/20. These efforts were eventually thwarted by a peaceful activist technique called Hug Power, where dozens of activists would circle and hug anyone being accosted by police, making arrest impossible. Now police, fire and safety officials work directly with Cannabis Day organizers to shut down adjacent roads and provide first aid to the crowd in a professionally-run festival setting.
Activist speakers will take to the stage to address Canada’s oppressive marijuana laws and the continuing crackdown on the freedom of the medical marijuana community by the Conservative federal government.
Presenters include Cannabis Culture owner Jodie Emery, who recently expressed interest in running as a federal MP candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada after being asked to participate by members of the Vancouver East Liberal riding association. Other speakers presenting include Sensible BC founder Dana Larsen and cannabis historian Chris Bennett.
The July 1 event happens just weeks before the release of pioneering Vancouver pot activist Marc Emery, who has spent the last four years in a United States federal prison for selling marijuana seeds and using the profits to fund political activism. Before being imprisoned, Emery donated thousands of dollars over the years to Vancouver’s burgeoning marijuana events, providing the seed money that made Cannabis Day and 4/20 possible.
Watch two LIVE feeds of the Cannabis Day festivities TODAY on www.pot.tv
See Cannabis Culture photos from previous Cannabis Day events by Jeremiah Vandermeer: