Article by Nick Eagland, Vancouver Sun via The Province
The fate of Vancouver’s growing annual 4/20 cannabis rally will be up for debate Monday at a park board meeting that could pave the way for permitted events.
The board will consider two motions, according to a report prepared by Octavio Silva, manager of business development. The first would deny approval or permits for any future 4/20 rally or Cannabis Day event on park board property. But if that motion fails, the park board will discuss granting the Vancouver 4/20 Events Society a permit to hold its event on April 20 at Sunset Beach Park.
The board could direct staff to issue the permit “with all arrangements to the satisfaction of the general manager of the park board.” It would also give the event an exemption to the anti-smoking bylaw and grant vendors permission to sell food, beverages and other items.
In January, a group made up of city and park board staff, police, and fire and rescue personnel was formed along with a steering committee to look at improving the planning, decision-making and operation of the 4/20 event.
“While both groups acknowledge the challenging aspects associated with the 4/20 celebration and protest, they also recognize that the event will occur regardless,” the report said. “Further, with the impending federal legalization of marijuana, there is recognition that in the foreseeable future, the 4/20 initiative will likely shift from being a protest to a legal celebration.”
Monday, the board will weigh the risks and benefits of permitting the 4/20 event.