Despite the announcement that the 4/20 event in Vancouver will move to Sunset Beach this year, some protesters plan to stay at the old spot at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Organizer Robert Moore from World Cannabis said it doesn’t make sense to move to Sunset Beach where the event will be out of the view of the public.
“It doesn’t seem like much of a protest, you’re not going to have any people who are needing education about pot, you’ll just be preaching to the choir down on the beach,” Moore said.
Moore said the Sunset Beach event seems more like a celebration than a protest.
“If they legalize cannabis then I’m fine with a celebration, but with the arrests still going on, and everything going the way it is, it’s time to be in the public eye,” Moore said. “There’s been over 22,000 arrests since Justin Trudeau took office and we’ll be ready to party at the beach when cannabis is legalized.”
Moore said he’s not opposed to the beach event, but thinks its more beneficial to keep the protest in the heart of downtown where attendees have the chance to influence the average Vancouverite.
“We don’t want to inconvenience people, but it’s pretty inconvenient to be thrown in jail,” Moore said, of the ongoing arrests for possession and trafficking,
While the organizers of the Sunset Beach event didn’t respond for comment about the conflicting programming, the Vancouver Police said they are aware of both and will plan accordingly.
“The VPD plans for every event in the city. Regardless of what that event is – concert, sporting, festival, protest, parade,” said VPD media relations officer Brian Montague. “It is unfortunate that those holding 4/20 events are not overly organized and we are aware that potentially groups will be showing up at both locations.”
Moore said he’s been in contact with authorities and that they will be on hand during 4/20.
“They understand that we’re trying to protest and inform the public that we’re still not happy. A lot of people think it’s legal because they don’t follow the politics,” Moore said. “The biggest thing right now is stopping the arrests right away — people are continually being arrested for possession and thrown in jail.”