At least one organizer of the annual 420 smoke up says they pay their fair share to cover all the costs.
“We have created a Frankenstein by accident.”
Jodie Emery says they meet with city planners, police, and everyone else to carefully plan the event out.
She says they also, this year, raised 20-thousand dollars to help cover the bill.
“We hold a number of meetings with the city and we, the organizers, have agreed to take on all of the costs associated with security, fencing, porta potties, first aid booths, and walkie talkies. We coordinate and communicate with the city and police regularily.”
While Emery admits its less a protest and more a mainstream event these days it still cannot get a permit.
“The city has asked us to apply for a permit but they agree we can’t meet the requirements. The insurance required and the fact that many of the vendors are voluntarily paying to cover security, first aid, and sanitation. The process for getting a permit would mean that this event can’t continue.”
Emery says while other festivals and celebrations require permits the 420 event is more unique than that.
“Marijuana being in that grey zone makes 420 very unique. We are not like car free days. They are not breaking any laws. We are not like yoga on thebridge. We are not like the gay pride parade.”
Emery says even if the organizers backed away from holding the event because they couldn’t get a permit thousands of people would still jam the art gallery grounds every April 20th.
That said she admits there has been some discussion about changing the events location.
“50,000 people don’t show up because they have a personal invite. They show up to that place because for 20 or so years they always have. Our concern it that if we try and move the event it will be really hard to get people to another location.”
The city of Vancouver says it costs almost 93-thousand-dollars to hold this years 420 event.
Listen to Shane Woodford and Sean Leslie tackle the 4/20 price tag: