As a result of multiple permit violations by the managers of Hempfest this year, we have called for the City Council to hold a hearing and give the public a forum for expressing their views on the event. Violations include large amounts of trash left on site, selling marijuana to underage kids, many tents for overnight camping, and scores of cars entering through pedestrian entrances during set-up and parked on lawns through the event. As of this writing, the hearing has not yet been scheduled but it should be some time in the next several weeks – we will send a notice when we receive word of the date.
In the spirit of open dialogue, we met with representatives of MassCANN last week to express our concerns and to hear from them. Their focus is not only legalization, but also the reform of marijuana laws, and they said that the event held in Boston is the second largest in the country.
It remains unclear whether this volunteer organization has the capacity to manage such a large event and ensure that other park users can comfortably and safely pass through and use the Common during that weekend.
We encourage you to express your opinion to the Council about this event. It will be important for the Council to hear from the community. Please contact Councilor Matt O’Malley, Chair, Committee on Environment, Sustainability, and Parks 617-635-4220 MATTHEW.OMALLEY@BOSTON.GOV