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570 NEWS – Caryn Ceolin A historical April 20th across Canada, as pot enthusiasts celebrate the final ‘4/20’ ahead of legalization.

Although marijuana prohibition is coming to an end after nearly 100 years, many activists and advocates are still ‘fired up’ with measures outlined in the federal government’s proposed legislation – Bill C-45.

Tony Millar is co-founder of Alternative Cannabis Consumption Awareness, and Communications Director with the Kitchener Cannabis Club.

He says this is an exciting year in Waterloo Region – as KCC hosts its seventh annual 4/20 Freedom Rally.

“We fought a long time for this legalization, and now that we do have some framework in Bill C-45 .. it’s a bit different. Now, we kind of know what to expect – but there’s a lot of discrepancies in the cannabis community actually.” More pot enthusiasts are joining the crowd as we approach 4:20 p.m. @570NEWS — Caryn Ceolin (@carynceolin) April 20, 2018 Millar says some of the biggest concerns are coming from those who fought so hard to end prohibition.

“The smaller, local people and growers that fought for legalization feel like they no longer have a voice, and are getting shut out. People are very interested in craft cannabis – they want that Kitchener Kush, or Waterloo White. It’s not going to go anywhere – and you just have to look at the craft beer revolution as an example of that. Consumers care about what they’re using and where they’re getting it from – they want to keep it local, and that’s just something that hasn’t been included in the proposed legislation.”

Millar adds ending monopolies is something Canadians have wanted for a long time – and cannabis consumers are no different.

“In fact, even more so a lot of the time – because they understand the plant, and have a lot of respect for the plant. So to see big corporations being granted permission to be licensed producers in Canada .. it’s the issue that big corporations don’t care, and it shuts out the little guys and local economy.”

Another concern heading into legalization is a lack of cannabis lounges – specifically, due to the amount of landlords that do not want cannabis in their buildings at all.

“The idea to legalize cannabis and not allow people to consume it in their homes like in condos or if they’re renters – that’s just insane, and it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. That’s what a lot of people want to talk about today on 4/20 – their frustration that they’re not being understood, and the disconnect between the government, these laws, and the people that are actually out here advocating for cannabis.” — Caryn Ceolin (@carynceolin) April 20, 2018 Looking to the future, Millar says the local 4/20 gathering could grow much larger – perhaps even to the scale of events like RibFest.

“I don’t see it going any other way to be honest with you – and I see the exact same thing happening with cannabis. We want to celebrate it, and have that dialogue – so if we can have these craft beer festivals, I absolutely see craft cannabis festivals coming locally. I think it’s something that a lot of people want.”

Every year the rally gets bigger and bigger, and Millar expects over 100 people to come out this Friday.

The 4/20 Freedom Rally/Festival runs outside Kitchener City Hall from 1:40 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. – it features live music, and of course, a countdown to 4:20 p.m. Jeffrey Shaver is one of a few dozen people celebrating #420 today outside Kitchener City Hall. If you recognize Shaver, it’s because he […]

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