WASHINGTON: The Farewell to Prohibition 5K and Natural Health Expo, scheduled to take place from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA on March 12, 2016 has been cancelled.
According to event organizer Crystal Newton, “Yesterday, the Liquor Control Board aggressively reminded us of the new rules in HB 2136. The organizers of this event have determined that the possibility of unauthorized and strictly-prohibited consumption of cannabis over the entire property of the fairgrounds (220 acres), venue and parking lot would pose a risk to the venue’s liquor license. We had the Snohomish County Sheriff doing our security and monitoring for the event, but this standard is not high enough for the new regulations. No amount of security can guarantee that an attendee won’t break a rule while at our event.”
Newton explained that under HB 2136, “any organization or business is now liable for violations committed by private citizens in and on their property. The liability is too prohibitive for anyone to organize educational and community building events like ours. Risking the speedway’s license is not something that the organizers, the venue or the cannabis industry in general are willing to do.”
The last-minute cancellation to the widely-promoted event has left participants, sponsors and vendors scrambling. “I wish we had more notice, I know a lot of you made plans to come out and we are so grateful. The late nature of this notification is upsetting and disruptive to our economy, business and community. This is a blatant overreach and exploitation of a regulation. The ban on public smoking was meant to protect society. Threatening someone’s liquor license of a venue holder by holding them to an impossible standard is an overreach.”
Newton expects to reschedule the event, and move to a new, friendlier venue. “We are reaching out to t the Puyallup Tribe, and are looking at a date in May, 2016 TBD. Please check back at the website and our Facebook page to receive updates. We have more support than ever and we will lawfully and respectfully complete our race. We will finish this race together.”