More than 50 people gathered at the University of Otago
campus yesterday evening to mark the fifth anniversary of
weekly protests seeking the decriminalisation of cannabis.
Some people juggled with skittles, and most listened to music
played through an extensive sound system by several disc
jockeys and, later, three live bands, outside the University
Several people also smoked cannabis in what organisers said
was an act of civil disobedience against cannabis laws.
Participants included members of Otago University NORML, a
club which advocates the decriminalisation of cannabis and is
affiliated to the Otago University Students Association.
Several police officers later walked among the protesters
amid a friendly atmosphere, and did not immediately
The so-called "4:20" protests began on the Otago campus in
mid-2004 when people began gathering under a walnut tree near
the union building at 4.20pm each Friday to seek cannabis law
reform, protest organisers said.
The Friday protests had since continued each week of the
university academic year, and, from early last year, a weekly
protest had also been held at 4.20pm on Wednesdays.