for Metro Vancouver

Police don’t plan to make arrests at event celebrating cannabis culture

Smoking marijuana may be a criminal offence, but Vancouver police won’t be looking to make arrests at a pro-pot rally on Monday that is expected to attract thousands of people.

Const. Jana McGuinness said officers will be present at the event, which takes place in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery every April 20.

A contest to win a Blueberry Skunk plant, from 2007

A contest to win a Blueberry Skunk plant, from 2007

“As long as there isn’t a public safety issue, where things would move into the streets, then the event will be able to continue,” she said.

Last year, about 6,000 people took part in the 420 gathering to celebrate marijuana culture. 

Despite open pot use, no arrests were made. That many people are expected to return this year and to spark up joints at 4:20 p.m.

Jodie Emery, Green party candidate for the Vancouver-Fraserview riding, said the event is a celebration of Canadians’ “autonomy.”

The B.C. Green Party platform for the May 12 election includes the legalization of marijuana.

“Millions of dollars go into enforcing marijuana laws, and this money could be used to prevent more serious problems like violent crimes or identity theft,” she said.

Jodie Emery is married to Marc Emery, founder and president of the B.C. Marijuana Party. 

He’s facing extradition to the U.S. for selling marijuana seeds to Americans online.