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PNE Board says 'no' to annual 4/20 protest

A cloud of smoke hangs over the crowd as thousands of people smoke marijuana during the 4-20 annual marijuana celebration, in Vancouver on Friday, April 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

The PNE tweeted on Monday that the board had voted against the relocation

The fate of the rally is on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Pot celebrations won’t be coming to the PNE, the board says.

The PNE Board has been looking at the idea after the Vancouver Park Board voted to look at moving the event out of Sunset Beach earlier this year.

The board of directors talked logistics at a public meeting Monday night, where it was expected to address at least six reasons why the location is not a good fit for the event.

On Monday night, the board tweeted: ‘Hastings Park will not serve as a relocation site for the 420 protest activities’.

Speaking to NEWS 1130 last week, Laura Ballance with the PNE said moving the event to the park would be a ‘logistical nightmare’.

“We have a number of events already taking place on the site. All events at the PNE are currently non-smoking except for small, outdoor designated areas. We’re also a union site,” Ballance told NEWS 1130. “There would not be the ability to have volunteer or event organizers not cover those staffing costs.”

RELATED: Moving Vancouver’s 4/20 rally to PNE a ‘logistical nightmare’

Even though marijuana is legal, the PNE also employs several people in their teens with parents who don’t want them exposed to that drug, Ballance said.

Organizers of past rallies at Sunset Beach have been accused of failing to have adequate insurance and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for policing costs, as well as most of the clean up.

The fate of the rally is on the agenda for Tuesday’s city council meeting, and the city will make the ultimate decision.