It was a beautiful, sunny day in Vancouver on Monday – except for the vicinity around the Vancouver Art Gallery, where a thick haze of pot smoke clouded the sky all afternoon.
April 20th is Vancouver’s unofficial day of the stoner. The first 420 rally was held here in 1995 with 200 people in attendance. Twenty years later, the local edition of the worldwide political rally has grown into a huge celebration of cannabis culture. More than 20,000 people came to light up at 4:20 p.m. But the raucous festivities, which included music, dancing, vendor fair, speeches and lots of lots of smoking, actually started in the morning and carried on until late in the evening.
Here’s what we learned from the largest mass civil disobedience in the history of Canada.
Justin Trudeau is the new 420 Poster Boy
It may have been Marc Emery’s big return to his first 420 rally since being released from the U.S. prison system for selling seeds through mail-order catalogues. But the marijuana activist who founded the Vancouver event was completed eclipsed by Justin Trudeau.
The Liberal party leader has pledged to legalize (not just decriminalize) marijuana if elected prime minister. A huge banner with his image screened onto a package of ZigZag rolling papers, replete with a smoking spliff in his mouth, was hoisted over the stage on the gallery’s front steps.
“Stop Harper,” the banner read, reminding stoners to get out and vote on October 19. This is a political rally, not a party, after all. And stoners apparently aren’t big on voting. They message needs to be in-your-face — or between the lips.
Girl Scout Cookies Aren’t Actually Girl Guide Cookies
The media made a big deal about this. And maybe one of the vendors did indeed lace boxes of the classic chocolate and vanilla cookies sold by young girls to raise money for camping events and uniforms.
But Girl Scout Cookies is actually a potent weed strain that is supposed to taste rather sweet, with a bright high that will allegedly turn you into a giggle monster.
Naughty? For sure. But don’t worry. Our young female Guides haven’t been corrupted yet. Mind you, cannabis infused cookies would be an effective fundraiser. Wonder if they’d give out entrepreneurial badges for that.
There may not have been Girl Guide cookies, but there was every other type of marijuana edible you can imagine: brownies, slurpees, popcorn, lollipops, loaves of bread and olive oil. What will they think of next?
If you can smoke it, vape it and eat it – why not slather it all over your skin? There is a burgeoning side business in cannabis-extracted beauty products that include perfumes, creams, lip butters and salves.
The lotions won’t get you high, but they’re said to be good for the complexion. Most are anti-inflammatory painkillers for reducing swelling.
We tend to forget that the new marijuana movement is all about medicine. People get prescriptions from doctors because it alleviates their illness symptoms. (Wait, it’s not about getting blotto!?!)
Hash Oil Is Back
Dabs, honey, oil, budder, earwax, shatter – it goes by many names, but it all comes down to Butane Hash Oil (BHO), a concentrated, highly potent waxy residue that allegedly gives you a killer body buzz that lasts the entire day.
It’s made by extracting the pure trichromes from the cannabis plant with solvents to create a sticky, transparent amber residue. You imbibe it, kind of like crack, by users tweezers to place a dab on a red-hot piece of metal and inhaling the vapours.
It’s expensive, totally illegal (you can’t get a prescription for this) and super hot. Marc Emery is so convinced that this is the wave of the future, he’s been giving samples away at his Cannabis Culture headquarters and hosted a competition, the Concentrate Cup, at an undisclosed location in Vancouver Sunday night.
What were some of your favourite moments from the 4/20 rally? Don’t forget to leave them in the comments below or tweet your pictures to us @ViewTheVibe with #VvMag420.