British Columbia

Dude! Vancouver Aquatic Centre avoids becoming giant 'hotbox' by closing for 4/20

To avoid becoming the world's biggest 'hotbox' the Vancouver Aquatic Centre will not open April 20 for fear the ventilation system will suck in too much marijuana smoke.

Fears ventilation system will suck in too much pot smoke forces closure of public pool April 20

Thousands of dope smokers are expected to light up on Sunset Beach for Vancouver 4/20. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)

To avoid becoming the world's biggest 'hotbox' the Vancouver Aquatic Centre will not open Wednesday, April 20, for fear the ventilation system will suck in too much pot smoke.

An estimated 25,000 marijuana advocates are expected to light up on adjacent Sunset Beach that day for the annual 4/20 pot rally.

Mainly cloudy this long weekend. But look for sunny breaks as well as showers all three days. (Christer Waara/CBC)

"It's not possible to shut down intake fans," said park board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

"Given the tens of thousands of people expected to be around the Aquatic Centre smoking marijuana that day, we are very sensitive to that intaking into the building." 

Kelly Taitinger, head coach of the Canadian Dolphins swim club, said some parents had expressed concern that children would be leaving the pool with the smell of marijuana on their clothes and bags.

Taitinger however, doesn't think the facility needs to be shut down.

 "I'm unhappy," he said, noting that 120 of his swimmers will miss their training sessions that day.

The park board says there's no way the pools' ventilation system can avoid pulling in smoke from 4/20. (Christer Waara/CBC)

Organizers of 4/20 moved the event to Sunset Beach from its previous location at the Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Last year 64 people were treated at St. Paul's emergency.

Kirby-Yung restated that the Vancouver Park Board is in no way sanctioning or supporting 4/20 at Sunset Beach.

The board asked organizers to find an alternate location months ago.

Smoking is not permitted at city parks or beaches.


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