Vancouver’s huge 4-20 pot celebration to be replaced by virtual event

Vancouver’s huge 4-20 pot celebration to be replaced by virtual event

VANCOUVER — What would have been Vancouver’s 26th annual marijuana festival has been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic but organizers say a virtual celebration will go ahead.

The unsanctioned festival has attracted tens of thousands of enthusiastic pot users and vendors to previous events downtown and at a popular Vancouver beach, despite objections of local officials.

Physical distancing restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 have cancelled this year’s festival, but organizer Dana Larsen says on social media that an online celebration will replace it.

The virtual event, described as a “social-distancing-friendly, home hotbox session” begins at 11:50 a.m. Pacific, which is 4:20 p.m. in Newfoundland, and continues through the afternoon.

Larsen’s social media post says he will be giving away “a pound of cannabis” during the online gathering, while Vancouver police say they will be looking for any celebrants who decide to gather in groups.

Sgt. Aaron Roed says officers will be monitoring traditional 4-20 celebration locations, such as Sunset Beach and the plaza at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but he says police aren’t aware of specific gatherings this year.

“Social distancing measures still apply, and for health and safety we are encouraging people to stay at home and to continue to practice the measures already in place,” Roed says in an email statement.

Organizers of the annual marijuana smoke-in have never obtained a permit, while policing and repairs to grass fields have cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The 4-20 gathering takes its name from the month and day on which it is held, because the numbers coincide with 4:20 p.m., the time when the founding group of advocates would gather to share marijuana.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Appeal Court to rule today on Quebec City mosque shooter’s life sentence

Quebec’s highest court is scheduled to deliver its ruling today on appeals… Continue reading

Premier John Horgan speaks during a press conference in Langford, B.C., on Monday September 21, 2020. nbsp;B.C. Premier John Horgan is set to announce details of his new cabinet today in the middle of a global pandemic that will be front-and-centre of many ministerial duties. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Fresh off majority government win, B.C.’s Horgan to introduce new NDP cabinet

VICTORIA — B.C. Premier John Horgan will announce his new cabinet today… Continue reading

People embrace before the start a memorial service for Apotex billionaire couple Barry and Honey Sherman in Mississauga, Ontario on Thursday, December 21, 2017. Toronto police say they have identified a person of interest in the high-profile 2017 homicides of a billionaire philanthropist couple. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Person of interest identified but not arrested in billionaire murders: police

Toronto police say they have identified a person of interest in the… Continue reading

Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests

Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberals to present bill on single-game sports betting

Liberals to present bill on single-game sports betting

Bayern, Man City win to advance to Champions League last-16

Bayern, Man City win to advance to Champions League last-16

FILE - In this March 26, 2006 file photo, former soccer player Diego Maradona smokes a cigar as he watches Argentina's first division soccer match between Boca Juniors and River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, died from a heart attack on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at his home in Buenos Aires. He was 60. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

In this July 1, 2020, photo, Salt Lake Tribune data columnist and Utah Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen poses for a photo. Larsen is a sports writer, but with much of that world sidelined during the pandemic he's been digging into coronavirus data and its sobering implications. So when he found himself with a cache of spare change, partially from his childhood piggy bank, he knew plenty of people could use it. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
Tweet on spare change generates big money for virus aid

Tweet on spare change generates big money for virus aid

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, a view of a 'Matterhorn-Express' gondola lift in front of Matterhorn mountain in the Zermatt ski resort, in Zermatt, Switzerland. Restrictions to slow the curve of coronavirus infections have kept ski lifts closed in Italy, France, Germany and Austria, as well as countries further east. But skiers are already heading to mountains in Switzerland, drawing an envious gaze from ski industry and local officials in mountain regions elsewhere on the continent who lost most of last season due to the virus. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP, File)
As season nears, Europe ponders skiing during pandemic

As season nears, Europe ponders skiing during pandemic

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2015 file photo, actor John Boyega, right, pose with Star Wars characters during the Japan Premiere of their latest film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Tokyo. Boyega stars in Steve McQueen’s “Red White and Blue,” the third film in the director’s anthology of West Indian life in London from the ‘60s through the ’80s. The five-film series will debut Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)
John Boyega isn’t going to ‘take the money and shush’

John Boyega isn’t going to ‘take the money and shush’

The Hockley Motel in Mono, Ont., is shown in this undated handout photo. An Ontario motel that served as a backdrop for the beloved CBC sitcom "Schitt's Creek" is up for sale. The Hockley Motel in Mono, about an hour's drive northwest of Toronto, was listed for $2 million today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Colliers International
Calling all eccentric millionaires: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ motel up for sale for $2 million

Calling all eccentric millionaires: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ motel up for sale for $2 million

Most Read