4-20 celebration in Calgary has a ‘different feel’ after prohibition lifted
April 20 has always been an unofficial holiday of sorts for cannabis users to enjoy their product and fight for its legalization. But even now that the drug is legal, some experts say the battle isn’t over.
Business has been good at many of the legal cannabis stores in Calgary, but many people say there are still problems in the industry, particular about what’s called ‘legal-juana.’
“It’s about three or four times the price of better quality product that’s grown by craft growers that have been around for, literally, ever,” said Patrick Parsons with the Calgary Cannabis Club. “Those people are being shut out of the market in a sense.”
Parsons says 4-20 will always exist for those cannabis connoisseurs and to raise awareness of the multitude of issues still facing the industry.
“There’s no real place to consume,” he says. “Right now, medical patients can smoke anywhere people can smoke cigarettes but recreational users can’t smoke anywhere.”
The Calgary 4-20 Music and Arts Festival was also in full swing at the Town and Country Inn and cannabis users say the event is great place to get their products and the issues out in the open.
“This is our third year. We actually had the idea just before they were going forward with legalization,” Natalie Dalgetty one of the festival’s organizers. “Two days before our first one, they announced legalization so it was a big deal, a massive party.”
She says legalization has changed the festival and while there are still problems with the regulations, there is room for improvement.
“That’s the way I look at it. I feel that things could change and get better. I mean, it is a big deal for these people who have worked for years trying to get this to happen.”
Dalgetty says 4-20 first started as a code for the cannabis counter-culture and even though the drug is legal now, it’s still relevant in society.
“You still can identify people that have the same mindset as you because not everybody is as accepting of cannabis as everybody in this room. For us it’s kind of a celebration now for achieving legalization in Canada.”
For information about the 4-20 Music and Arts Festival, you can go to their Facebook page.
(With files from Bill Macfarlane)