Victory Square & Hemptown Canada

West  Hastings Sttreet  October 24, 2014.

Hastings Street is Vancouver’s paramount east  ~ west   thoroughfare along which the visceral life of Canada’s Terminal City is played out, from the monied towers of West Hastings to the raw existence of the Downtown East  Side. At Cambie Street is the Hastings Elbow, a  bend where these two flavours of urban life blend. The corner is  dominated by the Victory Square cenotaph and the classic red-yellow clad  Dominion Building. In its shadow is the world famous Hemptown evangelist  head quarters of entrepreneur Marc Emery ~ 307 West Hastings ~where back in 1994 the 36 year old Ontarian arrived in Vancouver and opened Hemp BC , a combination head shop, dope smoker café and cannabis crusade centre, strategically located in the trenches of the “War on Drugs.”

1900 – Hemp used for making rope and drunk as tea for the relief of menstrual cramps.

1923 – Total prohibition of marijuana in Canada goes into effect.

1972 – PM Pierre Trudeau ‘s Le Dain commission recommends marijuana prohibition be repealed.

2001 – Health Canada under P M Jean Chrétien introduces medical use of marijuana.

2017 – P M Justin Trudeau tables legislation to end marijuana prohibition.

Cannabis Culture, West Hastings October 24, 2014.

1971 – Gastown riot – Police over react to Georgia Straight sponsored pot smoke-in and watermelon street party.

1995  – Victory Square is the site of the first  4/20 pot protest and a few hundred people openly defy the law, blowing reefers in public.

2001 – Vancouver streets take on the daily aroma of medical marijuana when Health Canada and many US States allow possession with a prescription.

2010 to 2014 – Canadian Marc Emery imprisoned for five years in the United States for selling mail order hemp seeds.

2015 – With legalization and commercialization of cannabis on the horizon more than 40 free enterprise dispensaries spring up across Vancouver, some like the Double Mega Ill & Chill on Kingsway offer unusual side lines such as hemp pizza.

Double Mega Ill and Chill, Kingsway, January 3, 2015

Henri Robideau 2017

2017, narrative collage, 40w x 30h inches, dry mounted colour ink jet print, digital hand written text.