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420 on the Hill

People across the nation, including here in Ottawa, are celebrating what could be the final 420 celebration before cannabis is legalized.

Ottawa organizers are preparing for a crowd of up to 20,000 marijuana enthusiasts to show up for celebrations at Parliament Hill.

420 is the annual gathering of cannabis enthusiasts who protest against cannabis prohibition laws. 

Shawn MacAleese, co-organizer of Ottawa 420, said, "the government is trying to commandeer an existing industry and stifle the culture surrounding it, and yet they are calling it legalization. We don't accept that."

Alex Newcombe, cannabis activist and Ottawa 420 organizer, told 1310NEWS that he thinks 420 celebrations will continue in the future. "Legalization, right now, is looking more like prohibition 2.0." 

He added that people should be able to grow what they want. "They don't limit the amount of tomatoes that I can grow, they don't limit the amount of broccoli that I can grow, why should they (the Government) limit the amount of cannabis that I grow?"

Friday's gathering will be hosted by Alex Newcombe, and scheduled speakers include local nurse Maddie Brown, and Heather Alessio of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. 

14-year-old Emma Boniface from Nepean will make history as she gives the keynote address about her mother who used cannabis to help in recovering from opioid addiction. She will be the first person under the age of 18 to address a Parliament Hill 420 crowd.

RCMP, Ottawa police, and paramedics will be at the festivities to ensure safety.

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