The proposed cannabis event is looking so evil that its backers on city council have taken refuge in the “experiment” dodge. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday April 2.
The event would set up an eight foot high barbed wire fence across the whole park. Tickets would cost $60 for the cheap seats and $420 for the VIP treatment. IDs would supposedly be checked at the gates. There would be no road checkpoints for stoned drivers leaving the event. That is Standard Operating Procedure for the three-day Cannabis Cup events that High Times magazine has held the past few years at commercial event spaces like county fairgrounds. Berkeley’s parks would be a lot cheaper for the investors.
To make this political atrocity palatable, backers are saying it would only be on a “trial basis” and we should be “open minded.” After a year, the City Manager would review it and determine whether it should continue.
In the early 1930s, a division of the US Public Health service started an experiment at Tuskegee Institute involving hundreds of African-American men to see what happened to men who had syphilis. This notorious trial violated fundamental canons of medical ethics. There was no good reason to do it in the first place, and it only got worse as it continued.
Cesar Chavez Park is a vibrant outdoor space, with a rich and diverse community of flora and fauna. People from all over the world gather here to enjoy the smoke-free fresh air, the views, and the friendly interactions. It’s a family place. It’s peaceful, inclusive, and interesting. Being here makes people happy without the need of chemical stimulants.
Building a fence, charging pricey admission, locking everybody else out for three days, promoting smoking, and putting people into a drugged space, all for the greater profit of Big Cannabi$, is not the proper business of a public park. That kind of high-pressure commercial drug promotion belongs in a commercial space, where people can go if they want it.
City council members who push for this “trial” crap should be honest and just admit that they want Big Cannabi$ donations at their re-election campaigns, and they don’t give a damn for the parks or for the people who visit them. Berkeley park visitors will not forget or forgive. I personally pledge that not one penny of my money or one minute of my time will go to re-elect any council member who votes for this Cannabi$ edition of the Tuskegee experiment.