VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A Vancouver Park Board Commissioner is hoping to block a popular band from the 4/20 cannabis event.
John Coupar plans to introduce an urgent motion at the board’s meeting on Monday asking staff to contact organizers and request the pot-friendly band Cypress Hill’s performance be cancelled. Event organizers announced the band would be headlining the event earlier this week.
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Coupar says he’s concerned bringing in the band will draw in even more people to the already popular festival.
“I think it’s especially important we do something now that we’ve seen that the group have got a major band coming in, where it looks as if its going to dramatically increase the amount of people on the beach, subsequently, the potential for damage to the park,” Coupar says.
The motion also asks that park board staff not be used to help set up staging, electronic equipment, and booths.
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He says seeing the event go ahead is frustrating for the park board, and frustrating for people who live near Sunset Beach where the event is happening.
“It seems like nothing is being done as it gets bigger and bigger, and it’s really a commercial festival where individuals are making a lot of money,” he says.
He’s hoping senior staff in the park board and park rangers can meet with the Vancouver Police, fire and rescue, Vancouver Coastal Health, and BC Ambulance Service to make sure the event is safe.
Coupar says the motion will go over the decisions the park board has made over the last few years — all asking that the annual event not to happen on park property because of bylaws that ban smoking in parks.
This marks Vancouver’s first 4/20 event since the legalization of cannabis.
Lack of leadership on 4/20 event
Coupar says he’s disappointed the mayor hasn’t cracked down on the event, saying there’s a ‘lack of leadership’ on the issue by Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
“I think that it affects a lot of people, and I think we need some leadership from the mayor,” he says. “I think the council has voted to try to find another location, but I think it’s getting urgent.”
On this issue, he says not much has changed on this front since mayor Gregor Robertson left office.
“I think it’s basically a continuation of the policies of Mayor Gregor Robertson previously. (He) basically encouraged this event to move from the art gallery because of the traffic issues, and really dumped it on the park board,” he says. “I think I’m disappointed that there’s a lack of leadership on this issue by the mayor, previous and present.”
– With files from Marcella Bernardo, Bruce Claggett