A smoke cloud is seen over the crowd at the Vancouver Art Gallery during the annual 420 day promoting the use of marijuana in Vancouver, British Columbia April 20, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) - Marijuana fans held mass rallies and pot parties in Canada and the United States on Friday, easing into the weekend with an annual celebration devoted to the feel-good weed.
Canada's biggest city Vancouver closed a major road in the financial district for the day-long demonstration, in which attendees are urged to light up, while the sweet-smelling smoke also wafted heavily over California.
Organisers predicted a Vancouver crowd of as many as 20,000, compared to police estimates of 4,000 attendees in 2011. 'We're expecting a healthy-sized crowd,' police Constable Lindsey Houghton told AFP.
Called '420' after a nickname for marijuana - hence the April 20 date - the event has murky beginnings.