Henry Ekelund

420 in Toronto has always been a rather strange thing to me. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people protesting the illegal status of cannabis, all the while head shops all around the city are packed to the brim, throwing 420 parties and celebrating marijuana culture. My own 420 celebrations typically involve me just getting stoned with friends – and so I decided that this year I would actively participate.

Hotbox Cafe 420 celebrations.

Hot Box Cafe 420 celebrations.

Myself and a few other close friends decided to go down to a head shop called Roach-o-Rama. Inside of Roach-o-Rama there lies a vaporizer lounge called Hot Box Cafe. Hot Box throws a party every year on 420 that involves a multitude of marijuana related contests, as well as a bunch of great music, all for free, which we intended to get the most out of before heading home.

To be honest, I personally feel that the most important part of 420 is not the events themselves, but the people I meet from all corners of the world. We all shared a common interest already  – recreational marijuana use – but the sheer variety of people who smoke surprised me. There were people of every colour and creed, religion, and political view, all smoking and having a good time together.

I personally think that large scale 420 style events need to be held more often, as at least in my opinion, they bring out the best of stoner culture. 420 is a day of acceptance and love – we celebrate the plant we love to smoke, and encourage all to smoke with us in a day dedicated to it. I think that if anyone who was against marijuana legalization and regulation actually attended one of these events with an open mind, they would change their stance on the issue.