British Columbia

PNE board of directors says no to 4/20 in 2020

A letter sent to the City of Vancouver asks that PNE/Hastings Park be removed from consideration as a site for the unsanctioned marijuana festival.

PNE/Hastings Park asked to be removed from consideration as a site for unsanctioned marijuana festival

A cloud of smoke hangs over the crowd at the 4/20 celebration in Vancouver in 2018. This year's event will be the 25th anniversary of the first 4/20 held in the city, and the first since recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The PNE won't be hosting Vancouver's annual 4/20 event in 2020 if the exhibition's board of directors gets its way.

According to a tweet sent out after a public board meeting in East Vancouver, the PNE will ask Vancouver city council to remove Hastings Park/PNE from consideration as a possible relocation site for 4/20 activities.

"The board heard from the community loudly and clearly that the PNE will not accept this event," said PNE spokesperson Laura Ballance.

The issue of where to hold the unsanctioned event will be discussed at council later today.

Sunset Beach has hosted 4/20 since 2017 against the wishes of Vancouver park board officials, who have refused to issue permits to organizers and asked them to move the event to a more suitable location.

Last year, 4/20 attracted 40,000 people and 140 unlicensed vendors who paid organizers for booth space. Two people were arrested and 35 — including four underage revellers — were treated at St. Paul's Hospital.

The city estimates last year's event cost taxpayers more than $300,000, with the 2017 figure close to $250,000.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada in October of last year leading some to question why 4/20 — which started as a protest against laws that made marijuana illegal — still exists.

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