Public Pot Protests Set For National Road Tour

Cannabis activists, who protest prohibition by publicy smoking marijuana at Auckland's Albert Park, will tour 42 towns in 42 days for daily law reform rallies.

The aroma of marijuana lingers at the Victoria St East entrance to Albert Park as cannabis is openly smoked in 4:20pm protests on Wednesdays and Fridays. Placards with slogans such as "End the Drug War" are displayed, as is a New Zealand flag and Maryjane the cannabus - an old Bedford customised into a mobile smoking lounge and information centre - is emblazoned with drug law reform messages.


The public pot consumption has attracted scant police attention. The 4:20 sessions have been going for just over two years but protesters have been searched and questioned only on rare occasions and only a few arrests have been made. However police officers swiftly appeared to confiscate a mature flowering marijuana plant the activists transplanted in a public ceremony.

For the most part, police tolerate the regular protests. Officers in patrol cars waiting at adjacent traffic lights watch activists openly toking, then drive off. The liberal law enforcement approach extends to cannabus sessions in Queen St on Friday and Saturday nights. Activists say visitors over the age of 18 are invited to consume cannabis in the mobile smoking lounge and passing police patrols don't seem too fussed.

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