Your dollars will go to support investigative reporting that helps real people in the areas

of climate change, public health, U.S.-Canada border re-opening, race and gender.
Goal: $60,000

Cody Van Gogh is worried about the Trudeau government's plan to legalize marijuana.

As he speaks to a crowd gathered around Parliament Hill in Ottawa for the annual 4/20 festivities, he describes himself as a professional roller and cannabis artist. He holds up a sample of his artwork — a unique piece that resembles an origami dragon.

But Cody's artistic creation also happens to be made from a massive 94 grams (!) of rolled weed and he's afraid it will land him in jail.

He's not the only one who has a unique story as people spread chatter about what the Liberal government's new legislation, introduced earlier this month, will actually mean.

As The Canadian Press reported a few days earlier, a suite of legislation introduced by the government would, once passed, establish a "strict legal framework" for the production, sale, distribution and possession of pot. It would make it illegal to sell cannabis to youth or use a young person to commit a cannabis-related crime.

And on this afternoon, the Hill's lawn is filled with dozens of groups of people huddled together, sitting in circles, passing joints and bongs around.

A sizeable RCMP presence watches the scene keenly, but doesn't try to stop the festivities. It's interesting, given the fact that the green stuff is not yet legal, but it's also not unusual. This is the one day a year where the law enforcement seems to let the activity slide.

I hung around for part of the celebration to capture a few moments and stories. Plenty of snacks went around as the distinct aroma weed overpowered the smells of spring, prompting many empty stares into the distance.

Here are some images and micro-stories from hanging out on the Hill on a cloudy and chilly 4/20 afternoon.

Cody Van Gogh, self-described cannabis artist and professional roller, addresses the crowd while showing off his 94-gram dragon-joint. He was hoping to get a selfie with Prime Minister Trudeau, settled for a snap with a police officer. Photo by Alex Tétreault

From left to right, Lucy Arnaquq, Salamoine Arnaquq, Josie Pudlat and Kamiqa Noah share a well-rolled joint. The group travelled all the way from Nunavut to be on the Hill for April 20, and were happy to smile for the camera. Salamoine suffers from leukemia and says marijuana is an important part of his therapeutic treatment. Photo by Alex Tétreault

Chris is a friendly marijuana user who spends his time at 4/20 celebrations asking fellow revellers to pen his sign wishing everyone a happy 4/20. It's a tradition he started four years ago at a pot celebration in Edmonton, and he's been doing it every year on 4/20 since. Part of the tradition includes a bag of brightly coloured permanent markers for people to choose from. I obliged with a nice pink sharpie. Photo by Alex Tétreault

Hundreds flock to Parliament Hill on April 20 every year to sit in circles, pass around joints and inhale from bongs. The chilly air did not deter these weed aficionados during the annual event this year, Thurs. April 20, 2017. Photo by Alex Tétreault

Giovanni (left) and his friend Omer (right) enjoy a sizeable blunt on the Hill while listening to speakers. Omer, proud to pose with said blunt, says he really hopes the movement succeeds in legalizing marijuana. Photo by Alex Tétreault

The RCMP ups its usual enforcement every year for this peaceful event, but don't stop anyone from getting respectably high. They only intervene to stop people from setting up the occasional campsite on the Parliament's lawn or to provide medical assistance as required. Photo by Alex Tétreault