Opening Statement



Monday, 23 April 2018

420 Toronto 2018 Rocks City Hall!


"We're Here! We Toke! Get Use To it!"

Our April 20th rallying call echoes off the stoney, glass silence of Toronto City Hall, where Mayor Tory, our councillors and assorted officials hide, scheming away. Up among the financial towers of Bay Street, the banker and business tycoons lie in wait. 

The wisps spread outwards and onwards through downtown Toronto's Skyscraper National Park! Out towards Queen Park. Our provincial politicos bunker down low. Plotting to one way or another sell their dodgy government licensed weed. After the June 7th election. Trying to avoid the good stuff! The real kind we love to toke, illegal or not!

An official 420 city hall permit? Bah! With Canadian legalization but a few months away, 420 Toronto 2018 loud and proudly rocked City Hall, without their damn permit! 



Sadly, our elected "bosses" just don't get it! Their corporate Bay Street buddies too! Having completely lost the "War on Drugs", they remain hellbent on now trying to capitalize on our freedom weed! Thinking that come this summer, they can force us to buy their crappy government licensed cannabis instead. However, if this year's counter culture cannabis community celebration is any indication, it's a new battle they've all ready lost! Too little! Too late!

Without the permit -there's no electricity! No main stage. Perhaps they can shut us down that way? 

Fortunately a local music store comes to the rescue. I help 420 organizers Chris y Erin Goodwin unload and set the battery powered, make shift speaker system up near a planter stand beside the verbotten main stage. 420 Toronto 2018 will make do!




Chris y Erin Goodwin!


Erin plugs in a trez kool classic rock mix in. Jimi Hendrix's psychedelic guitar chords explode, along with Bob Marley's chunky reggae grooves, in the springtime air. As local rappers put on an impromptu show. A hypnotic, transporting, drum tattoo and chant echoing off the once forbidding walls too, in Nathan Phillips Square!

420 Toronto 2018 has arrived! So too the security guards! Along with the official, prerequisite, city hall goons. Making their way down from the lofty city hall towers! Ordering Erin and Chris to shut the blasting speakers down! Or perhaps move them over? Or ... or ... or just promise that nobody will sell any weed?!? 

No. They just don't get it! Trying to find bosses? To bully around? At a peaceful civil disobedience rally? Pfffft!

Chris leans forward, with a wry smile, the sunshine glistening off his shades. He just keeps asking questions, again and again and again, as they try to dictate and then negotiate their tight ass, draconian terms. 



Katy Perry!

Wasting no time, Grow OP Hydroponics cannabis activist-entrepreneur Katy Perry grabs a blowhorn. Launches into a rousing speech on medical patients rights, denouncing the governments inexplicable tax on our prescription weed. Accompanied by much loud whistle blowing from the growing lunchtime crowd. Very effective, indeed! 

Alas. Toronto Police Services [TPS] yellow jackets arrive in mass on bikes, trying to shut down Katy's info table beside her in the square. The irritated festival goers grow quite understandably upset -So much for free speech?

Clearly exasperated, the chief bike cop soon throws his arms up in the smokey air. 

Cop: OK. OK. Listen -move the speakers back some more! ONLY use them for your speeches then. NO MUSIC!!!

Chris: Sweet! He keeps asking more questions ..... Say What?!?

Cop: Well then, just play one song. Do it at at 4:20. Only one .... Why not "Stairway to Heaven"??? It's real long, eh.



Unfortunately, for the officer, his demands do not hold much sway. Our ad hoc speaker system stays put. He leaves with the yellow jackets, who spread out, to focus on the dealers instead! The music plays .....

Sadly, the 420 green venders wait about, ready to set up their tables, avail us of their tasty wares. Whenever they do, the yellow jackets quickly move in, issuing stern warnings. Strategically move about their bikes to box everybody in. 

The venders sit on their hands. Waiting for suitable crowd cover, to quickly set up, all at once. Unfortunately, it doesn't arrive until 4:20 pm, too late to save the above ground pop up market day at Nathan Phillips Square. As the goodies lie in wait, in the deep, dark labyrinth of the Toronto City Hall underground parking garage below.

By 4:20 the crowd passes 8,000 tokers. Nathan Phillips Square is filling up fast now. Not surprisingly, most tokers bring their own weed anyway, with plenty to freely go around, yellow jackets notwithstanding.



Michael "Smokey" Thompson!

Long time cannabis activist Michael "Smokey" Thompson, here due to health reasons on his final "goodbye" tour, sets up his signs, denouncing the Wynne government's unjust weed monopoly plans, for one last time. Having shouted his legalization message from the mountain top for years, they are a fitting backdrop for our 420 speeches in 2018, as Neo Libber Kathleen Wynne's legalized corporate weed is about to go on sale. Smokey's message carries on!

With Erin and Chris MC'ing, our local weed comedians work up the crowd. I gave a very short speech on peaceful civil disobedience, just in case there's any lingering doubt about what we are doing here today. Thank the Goodwins for organizing this year's successful 420 Toronto, against all odds. 

Katy Perry returns for another fiery medical weed oratory! Cannabis Activist Tracey Curley reminds us in no uncertain terms to boycott the official, government, Ontario Cannabis Stores opening this summer. 

No problem sister! The move is clearly on!

As the downtown office crowds and workers spill into Nathan Phillips Square, packing it with a crowd of about 12,000 to well past sunset, the huge cloud of smoke envelopes us in it's sweet embrace, ending a most successful 420 day. I help the Goodwins pack up the speakers. 420 Toronto is all but over for another year.



Will we be back? Next year? After legalization?

Picture this: Can you imagine Mayor John Tory hosting the event for his corporate pals? Or how about party leaders Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath or even Premier Kathleen Wynne? 

Ughh! A year is a lifetime in politics. Its hard to say who'll still be around, especially this election year. Don't be too surprised to see any of them lording it up on a suddenly official 420 City Hall or Queen's Park stage. Touting their dodgy official OCS weed. 



We 420 Toronto 2018'ers know the score! Will still be toking our good, free market weed! Growing our own stuff! Officially or unofficially! As always, legal or not! 

They lost the big bad drug war but the good fight isn't over! As 420 Toronto 2018 shows, there's lots of us! We're here to stay! Above or undergound, as always, the real show must go on!

See you at 420 Toronto next year, as need be, to smoke the real, good stuff and set the record straight!



420 TORONTO -MY VIDEOS:

Katy Perry's "Taxing Medical Cannabis Is Wrong" Protest! @ Youtube!

Police + City Officials Try To Shut The Sound System Down @ Youtube!

The 420 Countdown @ Youtube!

MORE LINKS:

Oh Cannabis Spring 2018 News y Views @ HERE!

Oh Cannabis -Toke Of The Town Spring 2018 @ THERE!

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