20,000 rally to legalize pot at Vancouver 4/20 protest
The forecast Saturday for downtown Vancouver is cloudy, with a chance of THC.
That’s because the annual 4/20 marijuana rally is scheduled to smoke-in the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery as a protest against pot prohibition.
Organizers expect 20,000 people to light up the rally, and vendors will supply marijuana and pot-related products to help participants light up a joint.
“April 20 is a day of celebration and protest around the world,” said Jodie Emery, B.C. Green Party candidate in Vancouver-West End and wife of Marc Emery, a pot advocate serving prison time in the U.S.
“Prohibition is an expensive, ineffective policy that wastes millions of tax dollars on policing, courts and prisons,” Emery said in a statement.
“Prohibited substances like marijuana fund organized crime with billions of dollars. Anyone who supports prohibition is supporting organized crime. It’s time to talk about legalization.”
Dana Larsen, director of the Sensible B.C. decriminalization campaign, said that a recent campaign poll showed more than 70 per cent of B.C. residents would vote in favour of decriminalization as outlined in the group’s proposed Sensible Policing Act.
Polling showed “a majority in every demographic group,” Larsen said.
“Our job now is to collect enough signatures this fall, so that we can force a referendum for September 2014.”
Other studies the group has commissioned showed that B.C. spent more than $10.5 million last year on detaining and charging people for possession of marijuana, he said.
The 4/20 event starts at noon and features music, performers and speeches.