WINNIPEG – 4/20 is a big day in cannabis culture, a day for tokers to celebrate their love of pot.
The celebration happens annually on April 20, and as is tradition in Winnipeg revelers took to the front lawn of the Legislature to camp out and pass around joints.
In the past, people would spend time advocating for legalization, but that isn’t a factor this year with the Liberal government paving the way for legal pot by Canada Day 2018.
That wasn’t going to stop hundreds of mostly young people from getting together to have a chill time, but they did note the somewhat bittersweet nature.
“It’s the last 4/20 that we’re going to be able to participate in here. It’s been going for a long time and gets bigger every single year, but legalization is a good thing,” said a bearded man in a Baja jacket.
“I think this year will be the last year it has this impact, because two months from the time next year, it’s going to be legal. And once it’s legal, it’s not going to be so much of what it is now,” added one of the few women at the grounds over the age of 30.
4/20 traces back to 1970’s California, when a group of pot-loving teens agreed to meet at a certain statue at 4:20 p.m.
The day’s celebrations included a march through downtown, featured vendors hocking bongs and shirts adorned with designs of weed leaves, and a line of food trucks to feed the faithful once the munchies kicked in.
One woman stood behind a table featuring facts about post-traumatic stress disorder. She said she suffers from it and started a Facebook page to help others recover. Part of her recovery includes medical marijuana.
“I never smoked it before I had PTSD. For years, I was a zombie with no feelings. Now, I’m able to feel again, both the good and the bad. I’m able to feel, it allows me to communicate, allows me to feel like I used to feel before I had PTSD.”
She hopes that legalizing pot will reduce the stigma that surrounds marijuana use.