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

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read