A demonstration of young and old – both Icelanders and foreigners alike – came together under the banner of cannabis appreciation on the international holy day of pot smokers, 4/20. The celebration was a calm, intimate affair boasting less than a hundred marijuana aficionados by the evening hours at their meeting point: an alcove of trees and playground equipment next to Tjörnin Pond.
Austurvöllur square had been the designated congregation point in years past. There seemed a growing consensus that, despite the wonderful weather heralding the occasion, this alteration in rendezvous-point was to blame for the lackluster turnout. Most attendants came in accordance to a Facebook meet up organized by Reykjavík Homegrown, a self-proclaimed “cannabis club”.
Some first-timers envisioned a tad bit livelier of a get-together.
“We were kind of curious,” said one of the attendees. “We thought there’d be more people. 839 people signed up [on the Facebook event]. Last year my friends got wrecked here, and I was at home sober as fuck.” Although a bit disappointed in the numbers, he and his friends seemed to delight in the small community that had arrived.
However, it was not only new people at the congregation. “I smoke everyday, so I celebrate everyday for the last seventeen years,” Davíð Guðbjörn Sigurliðason, a true veteran of the day’s, events said. And 4/20 is no exception. Heiðar Örn Tryggvason, founder and owner of Iceland Head Shop, walked about proudly touting his services.
A few police vans sat parked close enough to keep an eye on activities but left well before the proceedings dispersed. When those in attendance were asked about the cops’ presence, they mostly shrugged it off.
“They’re just sitting here, waiting here if people have any fights or problems or anything,” said a young guy casually rolling a joint. “If they see anyone they know are underage, they take them.”
Previous 4/20 events have seen more political fervor, with protests for the legalization of marijuana in Iceland coinciding with the day’s activities. Although all asked said they hope for this change in legislation, no one seemed overtly concerned with political matters at the moment.