The protest must go on.
That from organizers of Cannabis Day, an event similar to 4/20, where pot enthusiasts light up on the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Canada Day, despite a cease and desist letter from the city.
But activist Marc Emery says organizers have been forced to refund donations from vendors.
“That money would have gone to pay for all of the things that we are no longer going to be able to pay for, because the city won’t allow us to erect stage, or put the porta potties in the area, or any of those security things, radio co ordination.”
Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston says the protest, which is more like a festival, is unsanctioned.
“We have permits for a reason which is to evaluate whether the event is appropriate for that time and place.”
“We did offer an alternative location to the organizers, we said look we know you are determined to do your event, we are happy to talk to you about another location, we are happy to talk to you about getting it permitted, because, you know, just like car free day, or Italian Day, these are festivals.”
But Emery says there is no way a permit would ever be approved for people to smoke pot all day.
“People say get a permit that is not something we’ve done for 21 years, you can’t issue a permit for people to sell pot and smoke marijuana all day, there is no permit that allows that.”
The annual 4/20 protest attracted tens of thousands of supporters this year and sent 64 people to hospital.
Vancouver Police Const. Brian Montague says officers will prioritize the safety of the public, and will conduct enforcement when necessary.