Vancouver’s 4/20 event returns to art gallery location

Click to play video: 'Smaller 4/20 protest held outside Vancouver Art Gallery'
Smaller 4/20 protest held outside Vancouver Art Gallery
The annual 4/20 celebration at Sunset Beach went up in smoke again this year due to pandemic uncertainty. But some new organizers took it upon themselves arrange a smaller celebration at the site of the original protest: outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. Emad Agahi reports – Apr 20, 2022

Vancouver’s annual 4/20 event was held Wednesday at its original downtown location under the guidance of new organizers and with a smaller crowd than recent years.

A group called the 4/20 Market came together to plan its own event at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which police said drew thousands of attendees.

Read more: Cannacurious: What we really know about cannabis

Organizers said they needed to protest against the Canadian government, saying they believe cannabis has become too expensive for B.C.’s most vulnerable population.

The organizers told Global News they see this event as an opportunity to speak up.

Click to play video: 'First major 4/20 event held in Vancouver since pandemic begins'
First major 4/20 event held in Vancouver since pandemic begins

“It’s a protest just like every year,” Adilynn McArdle, one of the event organizers said.

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“(The) Supreme Court of Canada says every Canadian citizen deserves reasonable access to cannabis and unfortunately our federal government hasn’t yet given us reasonable access. While they’ve legalized it, they’ve kind of locked out all of the people who were standing up in the first place.”

The previous organizers, who shifted the event to the Sunset Beach location, say they were unable to organize their annual April event because COVID-19 regulations were not lifted in time.

Read more: Where to hold Vancouver’s annual 4/20 event in the future?

The return of 4/20 is certain to reignite the heated annual debate over whether the event is a protest or an unlicensed festival.

According to a leaked memo from Vancouver city staff, the 2018 event cost taxpayers more than $583,000.

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The now-28-year-old event has grown to attract tens of thousands of attendees and high-profile musical acts like Cypress Hill, who performed at Sunset Beach in 2019.

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