420 gained worldwide popularity as a banner of cannabis culture. Influencers, artists, and enthusiasts are waving this flag so high they created a subculture under this label. In Latin American countries, April 20th is a date to vindicate the relevance of this plant in terms of public health. Organisations, grow clubs, professionals, and patients are rallying at local squares and, protected by Mother Earth, they march down to demand a full legalisation of cannabis. The 420 term was coined by Californian students to call activists to action in pursuit of this cause and hoping to locate an alleged cannabis plantation. Two years of COVID restrictions made it impossible to continue the Latin American tradition of demonstrating on this date, which is why, this year, cannabis supporters are drawing up additional demands for the government in connection with the plant. Mexico and Argentina are calling cannabis activists to raise their fists in defence of public health and civil liberties.
Mexico and the 2022 Cannabis Season
This season takes place from April 20th up to May 7th. The arrival of spring marks the time to commence preparations to show the whole world the true power of the green wave. This period will also feature the Global Marijuana March on May 7th. The Mexican Cannabis Movement (MCM) is calling activists all across the country to show up for a non-violent public demonstration to press demands and also to show that, with or without legal regulation, cannabis culture is here to stay in the Aztec country. So, anyone interested in becoming actively involved in cannabis vindication is invited to participate in at least two specific activities: On April 20th, there will be rallies at the squares of every town or city. Apart from celebrating cannabis, these demonstrations are intended to promote interaction between activists from different states, towns, or even colonies, so that cannabis champions have all they need to make arrangements for the Global Marijuana March on May 7th, which has taken place every year in the City of Mexico since 2001. Up to now, this event has spread over more than 20 venues throughout the country, joining hundreds of cities from the rest of the world to celebrate the occasion.
These two dates mark the beginning and the ending of the Cannabis Season, inviting activists to organise several activities towards the march, including workshops on cannabis rights, making protest signs and cannabis costumes, holding demonstrations at government buildings, cleaning and improving green areas, and other activities planned by any one of the many involved organisations. The MCM offers guidance on filing applications for the appropriate permits, stressing there is no real permission to ask for since participating in political demonstrations is a right that does not require any kind of authorisation to be exercised. This organisation also assists in sharing and adapting the 2022 agenda for each city that participates in the march, in compliance with certain conditions: being informative in nature, non-disturbance, no dealing, no underage use, and no use of other substances. Although the long-term goal for the MCM is the unrestricted and universal access to cannabis, the 2022 agenda includes a demand for a law that guarantees and protects the right to not-for-profit cultivation at home, as well as establishing safe spaces for responsible consumption.
Argentina Demands Freedom for Imprisoned Growers
The Argentine Imprisoned Growers Movement is gaining ground and filing suits against the state. Day by day, civil and political organisations such as the Organisation against Police and Institutional Brutality (known by its Spanish acronym, CORREPI), unions, college associations, co-ops, and other kinds of associations like Acción Cannábica, and the Cannabis Movement of Buenos Aires support a wide array of causes related to the criminalisation of cannabis growers. In the last few years, Argentina took significant measures intended to decriminalise cannabis for medical use and growth, like the enactment of Law 27350, which fosters scientific development and medical research, prompting a surge in productive projects across many provinces in the country (most of them with the government as a shareholder). However, there is still a demonisation of home growers who produce in compliance with REPROCANN regulations for medical use, and a systematic persecution that resulted in many medical cannabis users being imprisoned, while many others saw their harvest seized by the police on the pretext of mere suspicion. Committed to these demands, patients, associations, and organisations will take to the streets on April 20th in the City of Buenos Aires. No more arrested growers, no more persecution of growers, and a pardon, amnesty, or expungement for all cannabis-related convictions. Argentine growers want to be recognised as cannabis workers—and not as drug dealers.