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

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read