Pubdate: Sat, 21 Apr 2012
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Times Colonist


It was a ganja get-together.

More than 1,000 people gathered in Centennial Square Friday to protest
Canada's marijuana laws and attend 4/20, an annual celebration of
cannabis culture.

Hundreds of teenagers, many as young as 13 and 14, sat in circles at
the foot of the huge tree in Centennial Square, passing joints - but
would not comment on why they think marijuana should be legalized.

A grinning Ted Smith, proprietor of the Cannabis Buyers Club of
Canada, wasn't so shy. Smith said he'd been smoking all day and felt

April 20 - or 4/20, a term used by marijuana users for decades - is "a
day to smoke pot and celebrate the herb and each other and relax,"
Smith said.

"It's not a political event. It's not time to rally the

Young kids always show up at the event, Smith said.

"I don't think kids under 16 should be smoking pot. It's not good for
their health, mentally or physically," he said. "The science seems to
suggest if you're over that [age], you're physically and mentally not
as susceptible to mental-health issues or other health problems."

Dr. Tim Stockwell, director of the University of Victoria's Centre for
Addictions Research of B.C., said the rates of cannabis use by youth
are higher than those for tobacco.
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