Pubdate: Mon, 03 Apr 2017
Source: Metro (Vancouver, CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Metro Canada
Author: Wanyee Li
Page: 3


Board would have been able to charge 4-20 organizers

This year's kerfuffle over whether Vancouver would give 4-20 event
organizers a permit or not holds some lessons for next year, says the
park board chairman.

This year's 4-20 pot rally in Vancouver will go on without a permit,
making it harder for park board staff to ensure the event does not
damage the park and that people are safe, said Vancouver Park Board
chairman Michael Wiebe.

"It will be more difficult in the sense that we won't be able to push
our policies on the organizers because they won't have to comply with
our regulations."

He was in favour of granting 4-20 event organizers a permit - they
applied for one last summer - but was outvoted by the board.

Permitting the event would give the board a way of recouping costs
associated with extra patrols, washrooms and cleanup, he said.

The permit cost for 4-20, which attracted 25,000 people to English Bay
last year, would probably cost organizers $35,000, said Wiebe.

Last year's event cost the park board about $24,000, according to a
City of Vancouver spokesperson.

It also cost the city $99,400 in policing costs and $6,900 for fire
and rescue services.

Marijuana advocate and 4-20 event organizer Dana Larsen has told media
he will pay the city and park board back for some of the costs they
take on due to this year's event, but neither he nor city officials
know exactly what that would look like.

"The organizers have offered (to pay) so we will see but it's not as
clear. Normally it's really structured," said Wiebe.

But one thing is for certain - the park board will not be helping
event organizers host the event. That means it will close the
bathrooms and concession stand at Sunset Beach.

"We will turn off the power and water," said Wiebe.

But park rangers will patrol the area to monitor any potential damage
to the park, he said.

The city told Metro it is too early to know whether there will be any
road closures during 4-20 this year.

Wiebe says the board will continue to oppose 4-20 events on park board
land but that it is willing to work with the organizers to find a solution.

"I'm hoping they realize if they work with us we can be allies."
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MAP posted-by: Matt