Another 4/20 event is in the books, after cannabis activists and aficionados packed into Sunset Beach Park in Vancouver on Friday.
Despite cool, grey weather and a little bit of rain, thousands of people filled the park for the stroke of 4:20 p.m., when the annual ceremonial smoke-up took place, sending a massive cloud of marijuana smoke into the air.
WATCH: Pot advocates gather for 4/20 in advance of legalization
The crowed reached about 40,000 people at its peak, with 482 vendor tents.
This year, along with the massive main stage, crews laid out protective grass coverings worth about $30,000. Preparations for the event began long before sunrise.
WATCH: The countdown to 4:20 p.m.
This marked the 23rd annual hazy holiday and was likely the last before weed is legalized later this year.
“Certainly there are some things to celebrate in the cannabis act, and we are happy about that, but by no means is the passage of the act a sign that our activism is done and everything is perfect and we don’t need to do anything anymore. There’s still a lot of work ahead in terms of continuing to change the cannabis laws,” Dana Larsen, an organizer of 420 Vancouver, said in an interview with Global News.
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For the first time, organizers of the event said they are offering to cover the cost of sanitation, traffic control and engineering but not policing. Last year, the total bill for the City of Vancouver following the event was just under $250,000, including policing.
“We have to wait to see what the costs are. They’ll give us an invoice after the event and then we’ll do that and that’s fully our intention,” said Larsen.
“We’ve been able to raise a lot more revenue this year than in previous years and we want to use that to help cover some of the costs involved in putting this on.”
WATCH: Thousands of marijuana activists, cannabis retails and pot smokers will take part in a 420 rally in Vancouver today, led by Jodi Emery who says its goal is to protest and highlight the discrimination marijuana users face.
The Park Board once again refused to grant a permit to the event, which it says is an inappropriate use of park space because it violates no-smoking bylaws and “has negative consequences for park users and infrastructure.”
Like last year, the adjacent seawall, the Sunset Concession and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre (VAC) will be temporarily closed on April 20.
Traffic is also expected to be very heavy in the area with very limited parking.