4-20 2017, Yonge Dundas Square, Toronto

Thousands gathered in Toronto yesterday to celebrate 420. A celebration of all things cannabis. 1-DSC_0614What started many years ago as a protest has taken a somewhat different tone. As everyone knows Canada is on the doorstep of complete legalization. As shown in U.S. states that have done so already there is clearly good money to be made. 1-DSC_0641A majority of Canadians are in favour of legalization and in fact a good percentage of good, hard working ordinary folk are also happy participants. Be it for medical or recreational reasons this is a huge growth industry. There is money to be made and sadly that also means hordes of politically connected players filling their pockets.1-DSC_0661 A glance at the list of CEOs of the current legal growers will make your head spin. Lots of “hooked up” players including a former Premiere, former political big-wigs including ex Prime Minister John Turner.1-DSC_0580 The people attending where of all ages and stripes. People who have been in the fight against the racially and economically motivated prohibition of marijuana that started so many years ago. Yet on the doorstep of legalization reality is that the 1% are set to line their already full pockets at the expense of the sacrifices made, over many decades, by those people in the movement. 1-DSC_0586Thousands and thousands imprisoned, parents losing their children, the stigma of being branded a felon, all victims in the now infamous war on drugs. To quote Marc Emery in his address to the crowd, “Having Bill Blair in charge of the process of legalization is somewhat like having the KKK draft human rights legislation.” 1-DSC_0637This protest not so much about the legality of pot but about allowing those who have sacrificed so much over so many years the chance to enjoy the benefits of their efforts. Many of the speakers encouraged people to grow their own, each household being allowed to grow 4 plants.1-DSC_0598 Also got a packet of seed from an initiative called Overgrow Canada. Run by activist Dane Larsen, the program aims to give out many millions of seeds across Canada and urge people to plant them in public places where they will be seen but undisturbed. People then encouraged to send photos of these plants to their website. 1-DSC_0672The rain and chilly weather did nothing to dampen the mood and the crowd was estimated by organizers to be in the 15,000 range. 1-DSC_0650A fun event as always, great entertainment, from comedians, to dancers to an awesome couple of bands, umbrellas up, beach balls flying, hope everyone had a safe and happy 420! 1-DSC_0645

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