Saturday, September 07, 2013
Private Cannabis Expo on Public Land
San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza was fenced off today, which is annoying because it's the private grab of a very public place. Charging admission to enter the public square is pretty far down the slippery slope that Rec & Park Director Phil Ginsburg has been hurtling down during his tenure.
Today's temporary tenants were the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, in their first time at this location. Admission was $20, cash only. Clumps of beefy security guys hung around the perimeter, but the event looked lightly attended and potheads aren't usually violent. It's the drunks you have to watch out for.
Although I have been an ardent believer in marijuana legalization for decades, the Expo's location felt inappropriate. The appropriation of public land for a private, moneymaking event is a terrible precedent. At least the controversial Dew Tour skateboarding takeover of Civic Center last year offered free admission and entertainment. I hope the Expo finds another home next year.