April 20 (4/20)  is nearly (eight days!) upon us and that means it’s time for the cannabis community to celebrate its national high holiday.

From smokey concerts to peaceful park smoke-outs, there’s never a shortage of 4/20 celebrations in the air. But this year brings a new, special kind of celebration coming from the East Coast in the form of a “Unity Torch.”

unity jointThe Unity Torch in action.

This symbolic, Olympic-sized torch, shaped like a marijuana joint, will make its way from the top of the East Coast (Portland, Maine) to the bottom of the East Coast (Miami, Florida) starting this Wednesday, April 14. Presented by the East Coast Cannabis Coalition, the 2016 Unity Cypher will be passing through all 15 East Coast states before finishing its journey in Florida on May 1.

You can view all the states and the schedule right here.

The goal of the Unity Cypher is far bigger than just getting high for 4/20. In fact, actual cannabis plants seem to be an afterthought. The Cypher’s true goal is to spread even awareness for the plant on the East Coast, where marijuana remains stifled, and to promote the de-scheduling or at the very least rescheduling of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act.

Both of those issues may be nearing resolutions, as Rhode Island and Vermont appear poised to legalize this year while the DEA claims it will consider rescheduling cannabis by mid 2016. Still, a torch passing through states and creating more press for the plant’s freedom should only help these initiatives gain more steam.

Bernie Canter

photo credit: Kottonmouthkings

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