Pubdate: Mon, 23 Apr 2012
Source: Alberni Valley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Alberni Valley Times
Author: Brett Bonderud


Port Alberni's Marijuana Users Celebrate Cannabis And Protest Its

It was a happy 4/20 for various people of Port Alberni on

The day was a time for marijuana smokers to come together as a
community and share in their love of cannabis, as well as protest what
they consider to be archaic laws criminalizing pot.

The April 20 celebrations, "4/20," ideally occur at 4:20 p.m., but
users congregate from early in the morning to late at night to partake
in a toke or two throughout the day.

Port Alberni medical marijuana grower Mik Mann made a special trip to
the Lower Mainland, onboard a 6:30 a.m. ferry Friday, to mix and
mingle with other marijuana aficionados in front of the Vancouver Art

"It's a great rallying point," he said about the gathering.

"It's a farmers' market for all things cannabis."

Mann said various 4/20 gatherings across North America and around the
world show just how many people there are that flout marijuana
criminalization laws. Mann has spoken out for marijuana

On Friday at 10:30 a.m., Mann counted 1,000 people in front of the
VAG. Mann said he has been asked to put something together in Port
Alberni, but nothing has materialized.

Port Alberni resident Desiree Flottvick said it is about time the city
had a large 4/20 gathering.

She and her three friends were waiting at the front step of the West
Coast Hemp Inc. store on Third Avenue before its opening at 11 a.m.

When the store opened, proprietor Laura Grootveld greeted the group
with a "Happy 4/20."

In honour of the day, the store was throwing in free ash catchers with
the purchase of a glasson-glass bong and selling vaporizers at 10%

Around noon, Grootveld said 20 people had already come through the

She said she was working until 9 p.m. and expected a steady stream of

When asked if she smoked marijuana, Grootveld smiled and said: "I
thought everyone did."

Nik and Mary, husband and wife who didn't want their last name
published, said this year's 4/20 was special. It was Nik's 25th birthday.

He said he was divided on the issue of decriminalization and said if
the government decriminalizes it, they will also tax it 50%.
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