Vancouver considers licensing 4/20

The last 4/20 protest in Vancouver before expected legalization of recreational use could also be the first to be licensed by the city.

The Vancouver Park Board will debate tonight whether it should issue a permit to the upcoming April 20 gathering at Sunset Beach, which would allow organizers to secure insurance.

The meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 7pm at 2099 Beach Ave. in the West End and can also be watched online.

The board will consider two motions. The first motion would deny permits for any future 4/20 events on park board property. If the motion fails, they will then debate giving the Vancouver 4/20 Events Society a permit to hold its event for the second year in a row on English Bay. It would also give the event an exemption to the existing bylaw that prohibits smoking of any kind (tobacco included) and grant vendors permission to sell food, beverages and other products.

“While both groups acknowledge the challenging aspects associated with the 4/20 celebration and protest, they also recognize that the event will occur regardless,” stated a staff report. “Further, with the impending federal legalization of marijuana, there is recognition that in the foreseeable future, the 4/20 initiative will likely shift from being a protest to a legal celebration.”

A separate “420 Classic” protest will also take place the same day outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The report also said this could be the final 4/20 at Sunset Beach as “organizers are seeking a different location for future 420 initiatives.”