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Vancouver Has Significantly More DUIs & ER Visits After ‘4/20 Events’

4/20 Event

Photo: Cannabis Culture / Flickr

While no doubt popular, the 4/20 event at Sunset Beach creates a great deal of backlash.

For one thing, the event is expensive. Last year, it cost the city a staggering $245,000 on extensive repairs and costs.

What’s more, the costs continue to soar. In 2016, the costs were $148,000, which signifies almost double the growth compared to the previous year.

And, with over 40,000 spilling into the downtown core for the protest, traffic becomes extremely congested.

In addition, a great deal of marijuana enthusiasts reportedly choose to get high and drive. Often, people assume that marijuana doesn’t have the same intoxicating affects as alcohol, and is therefore safe. While the effects are different, both substances are extremely dangerous on the road.

A much higher number of car accidents happen on 4/20 than on regular days. In fact, researchers at the JAMA Network concluded that 4/20 sees an increase of 12 percent in fatal accidents.

Sadly, over half of the people that took the 2017 Canadian Cannabis Survey felt that they could drive while high.

Now, people are unsure if the event should take place at Sunset Beach and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Some would prefer it was dropped altogether.


4/20 Event and the ER

Not only are people at risk of motor vehicle accidents, but they may visit the emergency room for other reasons.

CBC News spoke to Providence Health Care regarding hospital visits and patient care on the day of the event; they reported that 66 additional patients came to St.Paul’s after attending the protest.

“Patients mostly had edibles that brought on complaints of nausea, vomiting, anxiety and dizziness,” wrote Ann Gibbon, a spokesperson for Providence Health Care, in an email to CBC.

Even people that aren’t attending may have negative health reactions. Children, babies, seniors and people with respiratory issues are negatively impacted by it.

Furthermore, they add that the youngest patient who visited the hospital was only 14 years old.

Bars and nightclubs usually have people checking IDs and ensuring that anyone consuming mind-altering substances is of age; however, there is no formal protocol for most of this event.

For starters, organizers throw pre-rolled joints into the crowd, as well as bags of marijuana. As a result, a number of extremely young attendees have ample opportunity to obtain and consume it.

Now, a petition entitled Encourage Smoking Bylaw Compliance at Sunset Beach, has gained over 400 signatures. 

Do you think that the increase in DUIs and ERs visits are very substantial? Do you think the onus lies on people themselves, rather than the protest? Or, do you think that there needs to be more law enforcement during the event? 

Sound off in the comments below!


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