Vancouver’s annual 4/20 celebration, promoted as a pot protest, has outgrown its usual location and announced last week that it will be moving from the Vancouver Art Gallery to Sunset Beach this April – something the Park board is not happy about and wants to prevent.
The event, which drew over 20,000 people last year, operates without a permit and reportedly planned the location move without consulting the Park board. Sarah Kirby-Yung, Park board chair, shared a letter penned to Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson on February 15, outlining concerns and disappointment.
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“On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our grave concerns that this took place without the knowledge of the elected Board of Commissioners,” reads the letter. “Consequently, I think it is important to clearly inform you of the position of the Vancouver Park Board, which has serious concerns regarding this illegal, unsanctioned, and unpermitted event. The Board does not support 4/20 taking place at Sunset Beach.”
Kirby-Yung is also worried about potential damage, and fear over safety given the proximity of the event being next to the water.
Jodie Emery, 4/20 protest organizer and marijuana activist appears firm on the decision to move to Sunset Beach however. In a recent interview, she stated that the event has outgrown the downtown core and needs to move. Organizers of the event met with city staff, who recommended either the parking lot under the Cambie Street bridge, or Sunset Beach, they chose the latter primarily because of the open space.
“We went with the one that’s most appropriate for our needs,” Emery told the Vancouver Sun. “This is where Pride is held and so it is suitable … It’s a nice open air space.”
Kirby-Yung is recommending the event be moved to either Larwill Park or on the Concord Pacific owned land under the viaducts. She has also stated that if the 4/20 event goes ahead at Sunset Beach, the Park board will ensure safety measures are in place, including police and lifeguards.
Where do you think the 4/20 protest should take place? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Image via GoToVan