A number of events are set to take place across Australia this weekend as cannabis culture and the plant’s therapeutic benefits are celebrated on 4/20.

Picnics, markets and live music will mark the annual occasion, with recreational users, patients and all those interested in learning about cannabis invited to participate.

Legalise Cannabis Victoria has warned of a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach by police

But the impending community gatherings have come with a warning.

Legalise Cannabis Victoria, joint organisers of an event at Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens, said it is expecting police to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to cannabis, and has urged attendees to “know your rights”.

In a Facebook post promoting the annual 4/20 picnic in the park, the party has detailed what police can and can’t do by law, and how people should act and respond to police requests and actions.

“If you want to bring cannabis to the celebration, please be aware that we are not in a position to provide legal support. There will be legal observers to inform you of your rights and keep an eye on police activities, but we advise you to exercise caution,” the party said.

“If you are bringing your prescribed medicinal cannabis, please ensure it’s in the container provided by your dispenser, bring a copy of your script or a letter from your doctor describing the medicinal cannabis you are taking, and have your ID with you.”

It urged attendees to show police the “same respect we are asking for” to ensure a “safe and enjoyable event for all”.

The post added: “This event is a chance for us to showcase to the people of Victoria and beyond that prohibition doesn’t work and is harming people. We also want to see discrimination against consumers of medicinal cannabis, such as the effective ban on driving, ended.”

Legalise Cannabis Victoria MP Rachel Payne pleaded with authorities to show restraint.

“We appeal to Victorian police and our state leaders to treat our community with respect and let us enjoy our day in the park,” she said.

Stand-up comic Lucy Best will host the 420 picnic in the park

Australian-based British stand-up comic, writer, producer and social campaigner Lucy Best will host the event with music from Zepha and DJ MzRizk among others.

The Craze Collective – run by activist duo Will Stolk and Alec Zammitt – have also helped organise the event, along with the Victorian Greens, the Libertarian Party and Animal Justice Party MP Georgie Purcell.

Another Melbourne event will see Astrid Dispensary host a gathering at its South Yarra base as it seeks to “raise awareness among the Australian community about the rich history of cannabis, its origins and its potential benefits in contributing to well-being”.

Founder Lisa Nguyen said Astrid is on a “mission to educate and reshape the thinking around cannabis culture”.

“This 4/20, it’s more than just a celebration; we are providing an opportunity to delve into the realm of medicinal cannabis and explore its potential for enhancing well-being,” she said. “On this significant day, we unite to push for crucial legislative reforms that will allow for better patient care and access to medicinal cannabis.”

Over on the west coast, the WA branch of the Legalise Cannabis Party is gearing up for 4/20 Fremantle at Walyalup Koort, with an event promising “good vibes and great company” and a “celebration of all things green”.

There will also be a “heavy focus on public education”, Legalise Cannabis WA said.

“Whether you’re a seasoned smoker or just curious to learn more, there’s something for everyone at 4/20 Fremantle. Come enjoy live music and a variety of vendors offering everything from hemp-made items to pet treats,” organisers said on Facebook.

The event is being sponsored by Everleaf Wellness, MediCann Health, Hemp Brothers and Vitaponix.

The day-time event will be followed by an after party at Flamingo Freo with live music and entertainment.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...

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