Article by Jay Schmoeker, Twelve High Chicks
It’s April, and one of the big North American/International pot-party-protests is just around the corner: 4/20 2018 celebrations! But this year is a little bit different and a little bit special. After years of agitating for cannabis freedom, across North America there’s been a wave of recreational legalization.
Canada still looks forward to legal recreational cannabis this summer, although we probably won’t be able to buy it legally for Cannabis Day. Meaning 4/20 2018 may be the last civilly disobedient Canadian protestival for our favourite plant.
How that might affect the various events around the country, the continent, and the world remains to be seen. It’s nice to hope that because of looming Canadian legalization there will be no clashes with police, that news coverage will be positive, and that we’ll all get along in peace and harmony as we pass doobies from one coast to the other.
But hope doesn’t decide how bureaucracy, capitalism, and self-interest or ego will impact giant groups of people. And from Toronto Police Service raids directly after the Liberals’ announced legislation, to Vancouver’s recent history with our cannabis protestivals, things can go so wrong, so strangely, just as we gain ground.
At any large public gathering there will be a police presence. Whether or not it’s a registered festival or protest, on 4/20 they’re watching and waiting to step in. After all, optics matter to “the other team” as much as for cannabis advocates; even for 4/20 2018 celebrations they can’t let “illegal drug users” run wild in public. Think of the children!
But those optics also mean that in the normal course of the day, they will likely let cannabis consumption go, as long as that’s the only law they see being broken.
So on that note, be calm. Because our optics can’t be aggravating an armed police force for no reason. That doesn’t mean let them get away with bad behaviour, but be calm in reacting. And be safe.