Extravaganja raises safety, business concerns despite peaceful event

This was the first year the Extravaganja was in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people who support the full legalization of marijuana gathered in Northampton for the 25th annual Extraganja.

Upwards of 10,000 people gathered at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton for the 25th annual Extraganja. It’s where marijuana is celebrated – and smoked openly.

But not everyone was happy about the pot festival.

A popular restaurant on Damon Road told 22News the traffic hurt their profits. That business told 22News, “We lost probably a quarter of our business during our luncheon time. None of our regular customers really came in during the time they would normally be here.”

Northampton Police Captain Cartledge told 22News, officers are trained to spot and handle people who they believe are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. But unlike alcohol, a breathalyzer can’t tell the police that you’re too high to drive.

22News asked Captain Cartledge how they made sure people were not impaired. “Two drug recognition experts, who are highly trained in the area of detection for narcotics or marijuana or any other type of drug.”

15 people required medical attention.

22News spotted dozens of people smoking freely.

One event-goer told 22News, “We’ve been walking around the festival freely smoking, and we’ve seen quite a few police officers.”

One person was arrested. No one was cited for their drug use, despite the fact that less than an ounce of marijuana can carry a fine of $100. Anything over an ounce is still a criminal offense.

Normally held in Amherst, this was the first year the Extravaganja was in Northampton.

Massachusetts voters see a ballot question in November which will decide whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the state.

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