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'Free the weed': Worldwide demos call for legalisation of cannabis

Originating in the US, 4/20 is a date when cannabis advocates unite to light one up together.

WEED Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

SEVERAL DOZEN PROTESTERS turned up at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin City Centre today, as part of international protests calling for the legalisation of cannabis.

Called 4/20, this day often sees protests, particularly in the US, with demonstrators calling for expanded access to the drug.

Those in attendance at the Garden of Remembrance lit up at 4.20pm, similar to those in other parts of the world.

The code 4/20 is most often used in North America, attributed to a group of young pot-lovers in the 1970s who met up at 4.20 pm.

In Dublin, some protesters marched on towards the Dáil as part of their calls to “end the shame” around the use of cannabis in Ireland, as well as calling for expanded access to the drug medicinally.

Cannabis Source: Sam Boal

The Dublin Cannabis Club created the event on its Facebook page, saying that they needed “this event to break the stereotypical image of cannabis users”.

0048 Smoking Drugs_90509351 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Around the world

In Israel, hundreds gathered on a hill overlooking the parliament building in Jerusalem and, like their Irish counterparts, began smoking cannabis at 4.20pm.

One attendee said: “Once a year we celebrate cannabis day. We forget all our troubles, gather here — all the brothers who smoke — and we bond”.

There were also 4/20 protests planned across North America in cities such as Denver, Washington and Vancouver.

The event is quite a big deal in the Canadian city of Vancouver, with Sunset Beach the new venue after too many people turned up at the Vancouver Art Gallery last year.

As many as 100,000 people are expected to attend, according to CBC, with entertainment coming from the Wu-Tang Clan, among others.

Canada recently became only the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to announce the legalisation of cannabis, which will come into effect next year.

Some of the celebrations in the US are bigger than others; Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park typically draws thousands. In Seattle, the organisers of the annual Hempfest event are anticipating about 250 people at a private party.

protest Crowds in the Garden of Remembrance today Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Some shops where marijuana is legal to purchase in the US were offering discounts or hosting block parties.

While cannabis is legal in many states in the US, it remains illegal under federal law.

Demonstrators in the US hope to continue lobbying the government to make cannabis legal on a federal level.

Meanwhile, in the state of Wyoming, police sent out a mischievous tweet warning that they were going deep undercover to trap cannabis smokers today.

With reporting from the Associated Press and AFP

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