Article by Spencer Harwood, CTV News
Thousands are expected to attend the 4-20 marijuana smoke-in at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach Friday, and while the legalization goal of the annual Weed Day will soon be met, an event organizer says there is much more to protest.
This year’s event also features a unique wrinkle for organizers, police, and parents: professional development days are scheduled Friday for three Metro Vancouver school districts, meaning thousands of children won’t be in class.
Dana Larsen, the organizer of 4-20 Vancouver, says the annual “smoke-ins” will continue until all their goals are met. Larsen says he believes cannabis users are still discriminated against, despite the approaching legalization.
“I wouldn’t say we’re above the law. I’d say we’re under the law, in that cannabis users are unjustly punished by the law, and imprisoned, and treated poorly, and lose our jobs, and our children, and have other negative things happen because we choose to use cannabis, often instead of using alcohol.”
Larsen says organizers have met with the city’s police and fire departments, sanitation, ambulance services, and park rangers about Friday’s rally, and will “act as if they have a special-events permit” from the park board.
Vancouver’s park board issued a statement Tuesday, saying the protest is taking place against its wishes.
The statement says the board is working “to encourage organizers to find an alternate location for the event in future years.”