In an old hard drive last night, I was looking for some random old Iphone photos. Then I came across a folder with some film shots I had developed and scanned around 2012.

There was one roll that really stuck out and that was April 4th, 2012. I had only taken an old Yashica 35mm with one roll of film in the chamber.

This was the first time I had heard about 420 and the celebratory protests that ensued.

// What is 420?

Well, rumour has it the number “420″ arrived in the 1970s by a group of high school friends in California. They called themselves “The Waldos” and met every day at 4:20pm after school to smoke pot. They were also fans of the Grateful Dead, and popularized the use of “420″ as code for smoking pot amongst the Dead subculture. (See Huffington Post story here)

The 4/20 celebratory protest began in Vancouver in 1995 and is now synonymous with the media-dubbed “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery. describes the event as;
"The world’s only open-air public cannabis farmer’s market where people sell all kinds of cannabis and extracts while educating the crowd about medical marijuana, political involvement, activism, and much more.

With over 10,000 people regularly attending, with numbers reaching up to 13,000 around the 4:20pm countdown and free joint toss, which has been a fixture of the event for many years.

The Vancouver 4/20 protest celebration is a unique and incredible experience that everyone is sure to enjoy!
Each year got busier than the last, leading to the Vancouver 4/20 event being the largest free protest festival in the city, with day-long music, public speakers (always including Marc Emery until his extradition to the United States in May 2010).

// Without a doubt, it's a cultural experience that seems to be growing in popularity. With the legalization of public marijuana sales in Colarado, and soon to be available in Washington, just across the border it doesn't help with BC's hazy legal stance on where active marijuana users actually stand.

// What about the kids?!
Kids need boundaries and society seems to need laws - more than anything there also needs to be a good dash of common sense applied to the whole subject too. But that's just my $0.02.