Vancouver 4/20: 'Urgent' park board motion takes aim at Cypress Hill show

'There's been a significant change in the size and scope of the event. … It's a commercial venture now.'

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A Vancouver park board commissioner wants to keep the band Cypress Hill off the grass.

John Coupar said he will introduce an ‘urgent’ motion at Monday’s board meeting telling staff to contact organizers of next week’s 4/20 cannabis event and “request a cancelation” of a planned performance by hip-hop stars Cypress Hill. The intent is “an effort to control crowd size and possible damage to Sunset Beach Park,” as been the unsanctioned site of Vancouver’s 4/20 in recent years.

This year is the 25th anniversary of Vancouver’s 4/20 event, and the first since cannabis was legalized.

The band confirmed is was coming to 4/20 with a poster for the event on their Twitter account with the message: “Come blaze with us.”

American hip hop group Cypress Hill performs a late-night set on the Mount Currie Stage at the Pemberton Music Festival.

American hip hop group Cypress Hill performs a late-night set on the Mount Currie Stage at the Pemberton Music Festival. Mark Yuen/PNG

While Coupar would prefer 4/20 not happen at all in any Vancouver park, he said the attempt to shut down Cypress Hill’s performance seeks to “at least contain” the event.

“There’s been a significant change in the size and scope of the event,” Coupar said. “It’s a commercial venture now.”

A draft of Coupar’s motion quotes a Postmedia story published this week, saying “legendary California hip-hop band Cypress Hill … are very open pro-marijuana advocates and have sold over 20 million records since forming in the early 1990s. Hits include ‘Insane in the Brain,’ ‘I Wanna Get High’ and ‘Hits from the Bong.’”

Coupar has no issue with cannabis, he said, “but we have a no smoking bylaw in parks, and it’s there for a reason.”

Coupar also cited concerns about damage to the grass at Sunset Beach Park and taxpayer costs associated with the un-permitted event.

Dana Larsen, one of the organizers of 4/20, described Coupar’s motion as “silly.”

“I’m sure, if it passes, I’ll get an email from park board staff,” Larsen said. “I’ll answer back and say ‘Thanks for sending me the email and letting me know.’”

Cypress Hill did not reply to a message sent Friday to their management.

In 2013, Cypress Hill rapper B-Real posted a photo of Vancouver’s English Bay on his Instagram account, writing: “One of my favorite places to visit, play shows, and smoke great herb… We’ll be back.”

dfumano@postmedia.com

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