April 20, 2017 6:49 am
Updated: April 20, 2017 1:49 pm

Thousands expected to attend Toronto 4/20 marijuana rally at Yonge-Dundas Square

People smoke marijuana during a rally in Toronto, April 20, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS
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Yonge-Dundas Square will once again be host to thousands of marijuana activists and users for the annual 4/20 event today.

The gathering, which was once politically driven and has turned into more of a celebration in recent years, comes a week after the federal government unveiled its plan to legalize pot.

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Introduced last Thursday, the proposed legislation would allow adults 18 and over to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public, share up to 30 grams of dried marijuana with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.

READ MORE: Bill Blair calls Marc Emery’s claim that pot makes people better drivers ‘complete nonsense’

New penalties for offences would range from a simple police citation to 14 years behind bars.

This year’s rally in Toronto includes vendors and food booths. In the past, participants would also openly smoke weed in the public square.

A new poll released by the Angus Reid Institute on Thursday shows 63 per cent of Canadians are in favour of the draft legislation.

WATCH: A CBS news investigation found that recreational marijuana sales are raising tens of millions of dollars in taxes in states that have legalized it, funding everything from roads, public buildings to scholarships.

However, survey respondents were divided evenly over whether new proposed punishments for driving under the influence of marijuana will have the desired effect.

READ MORE: Marc Emery claims smoking marijuana makes people better drivers

The proposed bill includes roadside saliva testing to detect drug-impaired drivers and those with a small amount of THC (the main psychoactive compound in cannabis) in their blood would face a fine of up to $1,000.

Drivers found with higher levels in their system, including alcohol – known as a “hybrid offence,” could face up to 10 years in jail.

Half (49 per cent) of those surveyed in the poll said they expect the measures to discourage marijuana-impaired driving, while 51 per cent remain unconvinced.

Two thirds (66 per cent) also said the new law, if passed, will fail to prevent young people from using even more pot than they already do.

The Angus Reid Institute online poll was conducted between April 17 to 19 with a sample size of 1,467 Canadian adults and a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

VIDEO: Marc Emery gives his take on the Liberal Government’s plan to legalize pot in Canada

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