British Columbia

CannaFest 2015: Pot meets rock and roll at B.C. festival

Rock and roll will meet pot this summer at a music festival in Grand Forks, B.C.

Organizer Chuck Varabioff says the event aims to educate people and is not an excuse to smoke pot

CannaFest 2015 will take place at Grand Forks, B.C., in August. (CBC)

Rock and roll will meet pot this summer at a music festival in Grand Forks, B.C.

Chuck Varabioff of the B.C. Pain Society in Vancouver is organizing CannaFest 2015, a festival that will bring together musicians as well as educate people about what Varabioff says is the healing power of marijuana.

"I deal with sick people every single day," said Varabioff in an interview with Daybreak South.

"I wanted to give back something to them, where they're able to come forget about their pain, their problems, anything they have negative going on in their life, and come out and experience something positive."

The B.C. Pain Society is a medical marijuana dispensary that houses Canada's first marijuana vending machines. This is the second year that Varabioff has organized CannaFest. The first one took place in Vancouver last year.

There is no scientific evidence that marijuana cures diseases such as cancer, though Varabioff claims he has witnessed such cases. He also denies that the summer festival could be an excuse to smoke pot.

"It's all about the movement, it's all about people coming together and promoting a product that they believe in," he said.

"Now will there be marijuana abuse? Of course there will. Same as there will be alcohol abuse … but the public needs to be educated."

Grand Forks Mayor Frank Conrad says he won't "delve into the marijuana issue because that is a federal issue," but he says he believes the event would help stimulate the local economy.

CannaFest 2015 will take place on Aug. 7 and 8 at James Donaldson Park in Grand Forks.

To hear the full story, click on the audio labelled: CannaFest comes to Grand Forks

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