Northampton mayor & police prepare for Extravaganja

More than 10,000 people attended Extravaganja in 2016

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – For the last 25 years, Extravaganja has been a controversial western Massachusetts tradition. The annual festival rallied around the cause of legal recreational marijuana, but pot’s now legal in Massachusetts.

The UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition, which organizes the event, told 22News it’s not enough:

Although cannabis has been legalized in the state of Massachusetts, now more than ever, it is important to stand by the bill that Massachusetts citizens voted into law this past November. For 25 years we fought and pushed for legalizing cannabis, and now we will stand strong and continue fighting to ensure the bill we voted for is not changed by the Massachusetts legislature.

Saturday’s Extravaganja event will take place at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Extravaganja isn’t advertised as a smoking event, but if anyone 21 or older wants to smoke marijuana, they can’t be arrested, because these fairgrounds are considered private property.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz approved a new rule this year, you have to be 18 or older to get in.

With pot legalized, Northampton Police said their main concern is keeping the crowd safe. Captain John Cartledge told 22News, “We had a few medical calls inside the facility last year, so I know the fire department, along with us, have added some additional officers inside the event.”

Police are also planning to conduct field sobriety tests on anyone they find impaired. More than 10,000 people attended Extravaganja last year. Police didn’t issue a single citation.

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