Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WAMMfest: Santa Cruz Medical Marijuana Festival Goes Off Without A Hitch

SANTA CRUZ -- Although smoking was not allowed at the WAMMfest on Saturday due to a planning mix-up, the annual celebration of medical marijuana still filled San Lorenzo Park with hundreds of patients and supporters.

Without an exemption to the city's no-smoking rules in the park, WAMMfest organizers patrolled the park and handed out fliers stating that smoking was not allowed this year. In the past, organizers have set up tents in the park where medical marijuana patients could inhale their medicine.

"What we're trying to do is respect the laws and keep it safe and fun," WAMM board member Suzanne Pfeil said. "We don't want anyone to receive a citation."

Santa Cruz police said they would not increase the number of officers on duty Saturday afternoon for WAMMfest. However, they said those on duty would issue citations if the park's no-smoking rules were not followed.

"Organizers of the event were very respectful and responsive to any inquiries park staff had who were doing their regular patrols of the park," Santa Cruz police Lt. Rick Martinez said. "There was a small smoking tent but it wasn't located on park property. We estimated the crowds to be around 200-300 people. Overall I think it was a success for the organizers."


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