Cannabis Activism, Recreational Legalization & 420.
The first known cannabis-related activist demonstration in Canada occurred in 1971 in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood. The event was labelled a “smoke-in” and attracted a few hundred cannabis activists to the area.
The first 4/20 protest in Canada occurred in Vancouver’s Victory Square Park in 1995. Just over 1,000 people attended the event, which was organized by Danna Rozek and Cindy Lassu (who were both employees at one of Canada’s earliest compassion clubs). The yearly Vancouver festival has been crowned the longest running 4/20 event in the world. The protest celebrated its 25th anniversary this past year in 2019.
April 20th, known as 4/20, has historically been a day of protest and activism by the Canadian cannabis community. Large gatherings occur all across the country, from Vancouver’s Sunset Beach/Victory Square Park to Toronto’s Dundas Square/Nathan Phillips Square to Montreal’s Mont Royal and more. Canadians join together on this day to celebrate the cannabis plant and fight for its freedom.
4/20 celebrations in 2020 may be different than the past because of COVID-19 concerns and mandated social distancing. Learn how to enjoy 4/20 from the comfort of your home here.
Cannabis Legalization in Canada.
In 2015, Justin Trudeau became the Prime Minister of Canada and led the Liberal Party to a majority government victory. In his campaign platform was the promise to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes across the country. After being voted in, he re-affirmed this campaign promise and the federal government began working on the new legalisation.
Bill C-45 was introduced to parliament on April 13th, 2017. The bill initially proposed to legalize recreational cannabis by July of 2018. The bill was given the green light by the Senate on March 22nd but proceeded to undergo further review by various committees. On June 20th, the Prime Minister announced recreational cannabis would be fully legalized in October of 2018.
On October 17th,2018, Canada made history by becoming the first G7 country to legalize recreational cannabis for adult-use. The products made available through this regulation were fresh and dried cannabis flower, plants, seeds and oils. This marked the beginning of Canada’s legal recreational cannabis consumer market.