EspañolIn the spirit of 4/20 (the “annual day of celebrating cannabis culture”), a crowd of more than 2,000 people gathered and lit up under Peace Tower on Canada’s Parliament Hill on April 20, 2014.
The Parliament Hill gathering (called “Fill the Hill”) in Ottawa was not an isolated incident, nor was it the first of its kind. According to RCMP Corporal Lucy Shorey, “This is an annual event that has always been held in a peaceful manner.” Other 4/20 rallies across Canada took place in Vancouver and Toronto, while others “exercised their right to light up” as far away as Cape Town, South Africa; Reykjavik, Iceland; Dallas, Texas; and London, England.
Former Marijuana Party candidate John Albert sat with the crowd on Sunday, telling CBC News, “I think what is happening in Colorado and Washington has kind of crystallized it in people’s eyes. They see that it’s a real thing, that legalization can work, and be a benefit to not just people who smoke cannabis but to just regular taxpayers.”
Albert said that the event, while great for awareness purposes, “highlighted political hypocrisy.”
“Even though we’re persecuted, we’re put in jail, we’re constantly demonized by society, we can gather here on the front lawn of the highest parliament in the land and openly defy the law with no fear — because we know that we have truth on our side.”
Among those “openly defying the law” for Fill the Hill was Ray Turmel, aged 62, carrying a “large plastic freezer bag filled with enough marijuana buds to warrant a trafficking charge, in other circumstances.”
The RCMP was apparently “good-natured,” but refused to make policy comments on the event.