Earlier this afternoon (April 20), the Straight took a trip down to Sunset Beach, where thousands of people are currently rallying together at Vancouver’s annual 4/20 festival.
Attendees are gathered to celebrate marijuana culture while simultaneously protesting the municipal and federal governments’ stance on marijuana reform.
We spoke with marijuana activist and event organizer Jodie Emery, who said that even though attendees are celebrating, it’s important to acknowledge that local and federal governments have acted unfairly when it comes to legislating pot.
‘It’s unfair and discriminatory for City Hall to try and shut down dispensaries that are clearly operating on a supply-and-demand basis,’ Emery said.
‘It’s nothing but benefit for the community and the patients… And it doesn’t make any sense when the federal government intends to legalize it next year.’
Emery was also one of many attendees we spoke with who said this year was ‘the best event yet’ since Vancouver’s first 4/20 event in 1995. This is likely because of the event’s relocation to the seaside park at Sunset Beach. It’s long-time home was the Vancouver Art Gallery.
‘Everybody is so happy… Even the police, everybody agrees that so far it’s been a perfectly beautiful day,’ said Emery of the venue change.
The overall mood at the event was cheerful and friendly. Vancouver Police Department and Fire and Rescue officials were on site, but all was calm and no one appeared to be causing a ruckus.
Unlike previous events held at the Vancouver Art Gallery, there was plenty of room for stoners and visitors alike to navigate the rows of vendor tents.
As usual, the 4/20 smoke off took place at—you guessed it—4:20 p.m., this afternoon.
Check out our photos below, and watch this video to see our interview with Emery.