Article by Dana Larsen, Cannabis Culture Magazine
Full Disclosure: Notable activist Dana Larsen is an entrepreneur, author, and catalytic force in the movement to end prohibition. He is a former editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine as well as one of the critical organizers of 420 Vancouver. He has also completed a campaign to distribute 5 million hemp seeds Canada-wide.
In short, he’s a real-deal hard-core grass grower in a three-piece-suit. His stated purpose is to normalize the use of cannabis. On his facebook feed Larsen refers to himself as an “Activist, author, businessman, politician and cannabis connoisseur”. The italicized section following this text is drawn from the same feed. In his closing, he notes “people aren’t reading Postmedia very much anymore.” This is a well-documented, measurable fact. Newspaper circulation in every major market in Canada has either stagnated or continually declines.
The editorial in question is found here.
This editorial is unbelievably slanted and contains serious misinformation.
Let’s take it point by point.
4/20 organizers, myself included, have extensive meetings with city and park board staff, including Park Rangers, Vancouver Police, Emergency Services, Sanitation, Paramedics, Ambulances, Traffic Control, and many other departments. We develop a detailed plan to cover every single aspect of 4/20 so as to ensure community safety and proper care of the park.
We work with paramedics to create a grid system so we can quickly identify where there might be any emergencies or problems. We hire paramedics and ambulance to help with safety and health issues that may arise. We work with the park archaeologist to do a ground scan of the park area. We coordinate with police for community safety and to prevent thefts and conflict at the event. We work with groundskeepers to ensure the stage placement is secure and inspected.
We actually had lengthy discussions around the chance of rain and potential damage to the grass. After a great deal of investigation and meetings, we agreed with the Park Board staff that it was not possible to protect the grass in a safe way. Laying down plywood doesn’t protect much, and creates a serious safety hazard which they didn’t want us to do. It’s not as easy to protect park grass during a large festival if you’re unlucky and have rain. Everyone was aware of this well in advance.
I have a lengthy “notice of expectations” from the park board about what they want us to do at 4/20. It covers all kinds of items and contingencies. Notably missing is an instruction to lay down some kind of protective coating on the grass, because that was not a requirement.