Encourage smoking bylaw compliance at Sunset Beach [420]

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The 420 event has been setting up at Sunset Beach for a couple of years now. The event has morphed from a protest, to a celebration, to an unsanctioned marketplace that sells questionable quality, still illegal substances to minors.

The event has never been approved by the Vancouver Park Board. However, disregarding the considerable number of bylaws that get violated (particularly but not limited to smoking bylaws), there is no proactive or reactive enforcement or deterrent.

The event is disruptive to neighbours, residents and businesses in the area. Children, babies, seniors and people with respiratory issues are negatively impacted by it. Transportation is interrupted or severely affected. And, even though some of the organizers try to motivate attendants to clean up and respect the environment and property, costs for the city still add up to $250,000. There is also an increase in ER visits and car accidents -whose impact is only exacerbated by the neighbourhood's density.

Furthermore, there are issues that the event and its organizers could address better, including:

  1. Guaranteeing the quality and accountability of items, to minimize impact in public health
  2. Ensuring that minors are not actively purchasing or consuming, according to the upcoming legislation
  3. Not smoking in the park per se, according to the existing bylaw and upcoming legislation
  4. Appropriate noise levels and respectful time slot

We are not advocating for hard, potentially conflict-prone resolutions. We believe that the City, the VPD and the Parks Board could find other solutions, including but not limited to:

  • Closing the area just for that day,
  • Organizing an alternative, community-inclusive event,
  • Helping the 420 organizers find a different location with less community and environmental impact,
  • Increasing efforts and outreach towards promoting a healthier (for everyone) event

We acknowledge that it's a politically risky initiative for them. However, we believe that it's the right thing to do for their constituents, the community and for the sake of setting a precedent of law-abiding friendly conflict resolution.

We encourage the VPD, the Parks Board and the City of Vancouver to work together in ensuring that the matter is resolved in a peaceful, well thought, healthy and lawful way.



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