NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The 26th annual Extravaganja festival takes place Saturday in Northampton, and while it’s not advertised as a smoking event, police are prepared to stop anyone they determine to be driving while high.
The Three County Fairground in Northampton is expected to be packed with thousands of people for the festival; with recreational pot now legal, the event will easily be a mecca for marijuana.
Northampton Police told 22News they added staff and will have uniformed and undercover officers throughout the fairgrounds conducting field sobriety tests on anyone they find impaired. Officers will be stationed at the fairground gates and to control traffic between Bridge Street, Damon Road, and I-91.
Police will pull over anyone they think is driving impaired, but not everyone’s worried.
Anissa Hughes of Springfield said, “If it altered your perception where you see other things, then that would be a concern, but for me it doesn’t do that.”
Destiny Donnell of Springfield said, “If you’re going to be here smoking, you’re probably going to be driving, but I don’t think it’ll be an issue.”
The citation for driving high is the same as driving drunk. Nothampton Attorney James Winston told 22News, “The penalties are the same in terms of loss of license, fines, probation, and it’s simply viewed the same way.” Which could cost thousands of dollars.
You need to be 18 to get into the festival, but can’t legally smoke or possess weed unless you’re 21. If you gift pot to someone under 21, you could be criminally charged.
Extravaganja starts at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, and goes until 6:00 pm.
Related Extravaganja Coverage:
- Drug recognition experts to be at Extravaganja festival
- Northampton mayor & police prepare for Extravaganja
- What is the Extravaganja event all about?
- Extravaganja raises safety, business concerns despite peaceful event
- Police: Traffic was bigger issue than the drug use during Extravaganja
- Annual Extravaganja festival held at Three-County Fairgrounds in Northampton