A sachet of cannabis seeds and a handmade "grow your own" manual served as free souvenirs for cannabis smokers toking up at Latimer Square for "J Day" celebrations.
Pro-cannabis gatherings were held in Whangarei, Auckland, Hastings, Taupo, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin for the 26th annual "national day of action".
The meeting location was adorned with a bus draped in leaf-themed flags parked in the centre of the square and an assortment of signs. A cloud of smoke and a pungent earthy smell was also on offer to draw protesters to the event, which called for cannabis law reform for both recreational use and medicinal treatment.
"[Marijuana] is pretty easy to get hold of New Zealand wide, but the prohibition has fostered other drugs" attendee Michael Britnell said.
"There used to be a tinny house on every street, now it's a meth dealer."
Britnell, a member of the Christchurch Cannabis Law Reform committee, said a national clamp down on marijuana meant gangs had turned to cooking methamphetamine as a faster and easier alternative. Also, users who had "visited their local grower to source weed" now had turned to home grown alternatives.
"It's a friends-help-friends system."
He said access to marijuana was a matter of human rights, and should be "in the toolbag" of every doctor and sufferer.
"What right have we got to say desperate people with serious health issues shouldn't do what they bloody well like to relieve pain and suffering, there's a lot of mental suffering that cannabis can immediately help."
The event was organised by Norml (the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), with backing from Legalise Cannabis. A sausage sizzle, run by University of Canterbury club BudSoc, drew a hearty crowd when the munchies struck.
Dakta Green, who ran a private cannabis dispensary at Auckland's Daktory, said hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders freely smoked "like it's legal."
He visited Christchurch shortly after the February 2011 earthquake and distributed a pound of free cannabis in 500 baggies as "quake relief."
"I came to the city and I thought, what do they need more than anything in Christchurch? Cannabis."
Leaning on a tall carved wooden cane with one hand, he held a tightly packed bong with the other, and shared his goods with another cowboy-hat wearing friend. His shirt, plastered with a cannabis leaf matched shoelaces striped in red, yellow and green.
He was a man who knew "everything there was to know" about the plant, and since his first toke as a 39-year-old, had spent the next 19 years on bail, in jail or on parole for cannabis related charges.
A police spokeswoman said no arrests had been made at the event, which ran from noon to 4.20pm.
"Police officers have discretion on how they deal with a range of matters, including cannabis offences, on a case by case basis," she said.