420 Celebration in London (2014)

That time of the year is here again and stoners are ready to celebrate, advocate, educate and support the on-going movement of legalization around the world.

It’s always 4/20 somewhere as we know it, but on the 20th of April of every year, cannabis enthusiast comes together to show support for the plant’s medical and recreational uses. The movement has been going on strong from the late 60’s up until now, several states in America along with other countries around the world are giving cannabis a second chance.

In the past five years, we have seen the growing number of celebrations and protests happening everywhere, the biggest one of 2017 was surely in Denver, Colorado with thousands of people attending along with vendor booths and rapper 2 Chainz performing. 

In certain parts of Europe such as Amsterdam, they’ve been celebrating 4/20 through the 60-70’s with their tolerance policy and regulated coffeeshops. But several big cities such as Barcelona and London have joined the movement with growing numbers of participants every year.

Particularly in London, for the past four years, we have seen exponential growth and media attention from the gatherings in Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. And with support from advocacy groups like NORML UK (Cannabis legislation reform), CLEAR (Cannabis Law Reform) and UKCSC — United Kingdom Cannabis Social Club, London has become a sweet spot for supporters to come and meet other like-minded people, share ideas and pass a joint.


 

2014

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The first time participating in a 4/20 gathering was in 2014 when I was living in London. I found out about the event through a Facebook Event by London Cannabis Club.

I have always been a smoker but after learning more about the history, the benefits and the potential of how it could be used to help people. I wanted to be a part of it, at least to show my support and meet new people and learn about new ideas.

Remembering to check the weather before heading out it showed 80% of rain, all my friends bailed as they wouldn’t want to be standing in the park getting wet trying to smoke a joint. I was determined, I had to go. 

I was scouting around looking at all the people attending, as to my surprise, there were people of all age, some wearing suits, wearing tracksuits, some very old, some very young, a couple way to high and some that looked pretty confused to be here.

It was already drizzling when I arrived at Marble Arch Station. I did not know what to expect. There was a couple of people standing around Speakers Corner and a few police along with signs in the park saying “possession of cannabis is illegal”.

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I head straight into the crowd and made new friends with a couple of guys from Buckinghamshire. “We took the train ride just to be here today,” said Jake, a young grower who brought a cookie jar filled with Silver Haze buds. It started pouring more and everyone with umbrellas were huddling closer together. They were several people walking by with posters and talking about God, some stoners took part in the hefty discussion. 

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Some were selling space cookies for £20 a piece and some brought snacks and juices ready for the picnic. The rain wouldn’t stop pouring, it was getting cold and people were leaving, only the diehearts were left to stand.

Maybe it was the rain that forced us to huddle closer to each other, everyone was talking and sharing stories of where they’d got their weed from and showing innovative smoking-vaping devices, big bongs being passed around and we were all having a jolly.

4:10 it was almost time, we all kept checking our watches while rolling joints, I rolled a mango blunt with some Amnesia Haze. 

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We heard someone counting down from ten and everybody took part like it was New Year’s day.

3-2-1 and we all lit up together and suddenly we were standing in a thick cloud of smoke. The crowd dispersed right away and we all said our goodbyes. I took the underground home with my eyes red as the devils’ dick. 

Riding the tube I was thinking to myself how big the movement of cannabis is and how there’s so much more to explore and create. Just with this small event in the rain, I saw so many different people of race and color coming together, different views in lifestyles but we are all here for the one thing we share our love for and cannabis was the thing that held us together.

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