4-20 Protest

In April, 2019, members of the mass gathering medicine interest group participated as members of the health care team for the 4-20 protest. The attendance for this event was higher than usual because of the changes in legislation, making possession of cannabis products legal and because it was the 25th anniversary of the protest.


This was an unbounded event with water on one side and a road on the other side. What could go wrong? And the borders of the event were just the beginning…

What do you get when you mix hot sun, overuse of cannabis products, a tone of a protest, high crowd density, and sloped geography? You get a high patient presentation rate. Thankfully, there was a strong collaboration between all of the teams onsite, from security and event production staff to the fire department and the provincial ambulance service.

Some of the research questions that could come out of this event?

  1. In what ways did the use of cannabis products influence patient presentations?
  2. To what extent did the presence of an onsite medical team reduce the burden on local emergency departments?
  3. What is the relationship (if any) between crowd density and patient presentations?