Over 40,000 people came to the popular 4/20 event at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach last year.
The annual gathering splits protesters between the Art Gallery and beach, and grows larger with each year.
While no doubt popular, the event creates a great deal of damage. In fact, the area sustained so much damage during last year’s protest that the Sunset Beach Park was closed for weeks. Further, the City of Vancouver spent roughly $245,000 on extensive repairs and costs after the 2017 event.
And, as the event grows larger, so does the damage. In 2016, the costs totalled $148,000, which signifies almost double the growth.
Now, event organizers are trying to obtain a permit to hold the event. Right now, they don’t have the ability to do so because the park board banned cannabis events from city parks.
Sunset Beach Park
During last year’s event, the majority costs were spent on policing. The city claims it spent $170,670 for Sunset Beach and the Vancouver Art Gallery. As a result, even if the event were moved elsewhere, it would still incur these hefty costs.
Between the two locations, the Sunset Beach event cost $170,005, and the Vancouver Art Gallery event cost $75,374.
There was also talk of the event moving to the PNE; however, organizers are setting their sights back on Sunset. In fact, there is even an online petition circulating to get a permit for it. So far, 2,051 people are backing this motion.
There is also a second petition called Encourage Smoking Bylaw Compliance at Sunset Beach – that one has obtained 375 signatures.
The second petition asks for event organizers to address the following:
- Guarantee the quality and accountability of items, to minimize impact in public health
- Ensure that minors are not actively purchasing or consuming, according to the upcoming legislation
- Not smoking in the park per se, according to the existing bylaw and upcoming legislatio
- Appropriate noise levels and respectful time slot
They also cite that transportation is majorly affected by the event and that noise and pollution are disruptive to the community. Further, they say the event sells illegal substances to minors and that there is an increase in visits to the ER during the event
Do you think that the 4/20 event at Sunset Beach so be granted its permit, or banned altogether? Or, do you think the event should continue, but somewhere else. Or, do you think it should only continue if it undergoes a major transformation?
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