The PNE’s board of directors was scheduled to meet with the public Monday night to hear their thoughts about a proposal to allow Vancouver’s annual 4/20 marijuana smoke-in to take place at the fairgrounds. (Katya Slepian/Black Press)

PNE says no to Vancouver’s 4/20 gathering

Public consultation held on Monday about relocating from Sunset Beach

The PNE fairgrounds will not host Vancouver’s annual 4/20 gathering next year.

The board of directors met with the public Monday night to talk about a proposal to allow the city’s annual marijuana smoke-in to take place on their grounds.

After the meeting, the PNE tweeted that their board passed a motion saying their fairgrounds will not serve as the site for relocation of 4/20.

A spokesperson for the fair had told Black Press Media that staff were not interested for several reasons, chief of which is the requirement for securing insurance.

“Taking a neighbourhood issue from one part of our city and relocating that to another is something that needs to be openly talked about before anybody continues down the path,” said Laura Ballance.

“The PNE is currently a non-smoking site,” she added, “with the exception of small outdoor designated smoking areas that meet all work safe and city requirements.”

This year’s 4/20 event is set to go ahead at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach, according to organizer and pot advocate Dana Larsen, despite protests from the park board.

Larsen said he met with city officials including park board staff, police, and sanitation last month.

READ MORE: Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

In previous years, the smoke-up has received criticism for being held at Sunset Beach in part because of the damage to the park and beach. For more than 20 years, potheads and legalization advocates alike would swarm the space in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, sending clouds of pot smoke into the air, but organizers were asked to find a better venue and relocated to the beach in 2016.

Larsen said park board staff have since pressured them to find a new home and proposed the PNE as a possible location.

Ballance said organizers must meet a set of criteria to be eligible for hosting, such as availability and liability insurance.

Four different events were already scheduled for the site, some of which will be attended by children. More than 15,000 guests of all ages are expected to show up.

Every organizer must also secure third-party comprehensive general liability insurance before the event is considered. Ballance said it would be a challenge for 4/20 to meet this criteria because event space is given to non-licensed cannabis vendors.

The park board released a statement last month, saying its goal is to relocate the event from Sunset Beach by 2020.



joti.grewal@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fernie skier braves extremes to find ‘soul line’

Caleb Brown named male champion at backcountry ski competition

Avalanche warning issued for Lizard Range, Flathead near Fernie

Warmer weather to increase avalanche risk: Avalanche Canada

Replacement school for Fernie imminent: SD5

School district board chair confident capital funding to follow maintenance project announcement

Teck to address air emission issues at Sparwood mine

Poorly performing dust collection system blamed for exceedances at Elkview Operations

WorkSafeBC close to completing ammonia inspections after Fernie arena tragedy

Statutory agency inspects ammonia-based fish processing facilities, follows up outstanding orders

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Elkford woman wins national curling award

Terry Vandale hailed as a champion of curling; credited with making the sport more accessible

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

B.C. RCMP stop cyclist with no helmet, find out he’s wanted for murder

Kyle Antonio Dias, 19, to face second-degree murder charge in Toronto

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation welcomes new leader

Teri Mooring will take over as president this summer

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Distillers hope federal budget scraps alcohol escalator tax

Tax hike set for April 1, marking third automatic increase in three years time

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

‘The whole city has changed:’ B.C. woman in New Zealand reacts to mosque attacks

An expatriate and Muslim students at UBC Okanagan deeply affected by white supremacist shooting

Most Read