The Chair of Vancouver’s Park Board says she’s not surprised to learn there were more complains about this year’s 4/20 celebrations than 2015’s Halloween, Pride Parade, and Celebration of Light combined.
It comes after the complaints were revealed in a freedom of information request from journalist Bob Mackin.
Sarah Kirby-Yung says it confirmed her initial fears.
“I’m not surprised. I expressed a number of concerns when it was suggested that the 4/20 event move to Sunset Beach because it was being moved to a residential area. And that always brings a host of different concerns with it, and that’s exactly what we saw.”
She adds the complaints should be a wake-up call for the city.
“I think it’s up to the city as a responsible government to listen to the citizens of Vancouver, and they’re clearly expressing that they’re not happy with having this in their backyard and that has impacted on their ability to enjoy their parks and their neighbourhood.”
According to Mackin, only two complaints were received from the annual fireworks festival, while 86 calls and emails were sent to the city about 4/20.
But organizers of the event say from their end the event went smoothly and was a success.
Jodie Emery says if there were complaints made, they never saw them.
“We have not received any messages from anyone complaining to us, so it was a surprise to find out that there were any complaints at all. But for the most part, the police and the paramedics, and the businesses in the West End, everyone who went, they were all happy.”
She says this is all because marijuana hasn’t been socially accepted.
“Many people are still in an anti-marijuana mindset after decades of prohibition and reefer madness propaganda.”
She says there’s no reason the event shouldn’t be hold at Sunset Beach again next year.