Article by Len Gillis, Timmins Press
Spring is in the air. So was something else on Friday when a smiling group of citizens got together to celebrate 4/20 Timmins day at the picnic shelter at the Mattagami River boat launch.
The day was held to observe that many Canadians are cannabis and marijuana users and that it is becoming a normal part of our culture. Rock music was playing through a sound system.
The smell of marijuana was carried on the afternoon breeze as several people were openly smoking “joints” or marijuana cigarettes.
The day was organized by the Northern Ontario Cannabis Education and Resources Group and hosted by pro-cannabis activist Kim Cooper of Timmins.
“Today, we’re celebrating the first annual Timmins 4/20 event,” Cooper told reporters Friday. She explained that the story told to her was that 4/20 refers to a group of U.S. university art students who would gather at 4:20 p.m. to smoke cannabis each day back in the 1970s “because it motivated them to be creative”.
She said the 4/20 term became even more popular when it was picked up and promoted by the Grateful Dead rock band led by frontman Jerry Garcia.
“It was a band that used to play back in the day,” said Cooper. “And Jerry Garcia got on stage one day and announced to the crowd, hey it’s 4:20 somewhere! And he lit up a big doobie.”