4/20 marijuana fest advocate refuses to abide by park board ban on cannabis events

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      One of Vancouver's best-known marijuana activists insists that the annual 4/20 event will take place at Sunset Beach this year, even though organizers won't have a permit.

      Dana Larsen made this declaration over Twitter after the Vancouver park board voted last night to ban cannabis-related events from any property under its jurisdiction.

      The park board also rejected a special-event permit application to hold 4/20 for the second consecutive year on April 20 at Sunset Beach.

      "To be clear, 4/20 will happen at Sunset Beach," Larsen stated.

      He emphasized that it will be a safe event.

      The 4/20 festival was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 1995 to 2015. Last year, it moved to Sunset Beach because the front lawn of the art gallery was in the midst of a major renovation.

      Meanwhile, the parks control bylaw outlaws smoking on city beaches and prohibits vendors from selling food, beverages, or articles without the park board's explicit permission.

      A report to the park board stated that by allowing 4/20, it could set a precedent for other events that would allow smoking on beaches.

      Dana Larsen says 4/20 is good for the Vancouver economy.

      The report also claimed that allowing 4/20 at Sunset Beach could cause "reputational harm" to the park board if it encouraged the sale of illegal products.

      The board could have imposed a $155,500 fee on 4/20 organizers, which would have helped offset expenses incurred by the board.

      Over Twitter, Larsen criticized the three NPA commissioners and Green commissioner Stuart Mackinnon who supported banning the event.

      In other park board news, commissioners also voted last night to endorse a $20.64 per hour living wage for employees of companies contracted to perform work.