Cops to monitor 4/20 celebrations
There will be many people watching the 4/20 festival at Charles Clarke Square in Windsor.
Thursday’s festival is a celebration of cannabis culture, but this year’s event is decidedly different with marijuana legalization just 14 months away.
The city’s Police Chief Al Frederick says the law is still the law, and until cannabis is legal, there is no gray area.
“Marijuana is illegal and anyone who possesses and traffics marijuana today is subject to prosecution" says Frederick. “Police will arrest and charge you if you're in possession, and people need to understand that, that's the risk you face."
The city has issued a permit for the event -- which allows people to gather in a public space. But city by-laws restrict smoking at Charles Clarke Square.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says it has met with Windsor Police and City of Windsor Bylaw Enforcement to discuss how best to enforce all relevant laws at this event. It says Tobacco Enforcement Officers will be working collaboratively with Police to ensure that organizers and attendees are educated on the laws and that they understand their role in achieving compliance.
Joshua Jacquot of Windsor will be taking part in the 4/20 event. He says it’s a way to educate the public about cannabis culture and medical marijuana.
Jacquot, who wants to be able to use medical marijuana oil at work, says he will be smoking pot on Thursday. He hopes police will not charge those in attendance.
“I just think personally it's a waste of resources, especially this event. We're not doing anything wrong, we just want to educate the general public" says Jacquot.
There will be a number of speakers and it is for people 18 and older. Organizers ask people to bring a canned or dry good for area food banks.