The annual Cannabis Day pot gathering at the Vancouver Art Gallery has seen some attendees pepper sprayed and four men arrested today (July 1).
The yearly event is billed as a protest in favour of marijuana legalization, although it includes vendors, tents, stages, and live music.
Despite a cease and desist order from the City of Vancouver on June 9, Cannabis Day organizers refused to file permits for the event. The city attempted to relocate the event due to several other events taking place at the art gallery this year, but organizers again refused to cooperate, stating that the event is a protest and not subject to permitting.
Prior to the event, the Vancouver Police Department warned individuals that illegal vendors would face consequences.
The arrests occured after some protesters became angry that police officers were filming them buying and selling marijuana.
Protesters blockaded Howe Street between West Georgia and Robson streets early today.
According to a VPD news release, one man faces trafficking charges after being arrested for selling marijuana. The second man faces a charge of obstruction.
The smoke-show will continue until at least 4:20 p.m. today.
UPDATE: The article intially noted that the Vancouver Police Department has arrested two people; however, the department confirmed four people were taken into custody and are now facing charges.