On Monday April 11, 2011 a few of my classmates and I attended the Amherst Select Board Meeting in town hall. We gathered in the back and observed the sequence of events. With six members, three men and three women, many citizens got up and proposed their cause to the board in hopes to get it approved. As the items were met throughout the night, I was extremely intrigued by one particular event that was mentioned and furhter passed.
A UMass student, member of the Cannibas Coalition on campus, presented to the board the need for open spaces on certain streets for tour buses to be parked for the annual Extravaganja event in Amherst taken place on April 16 and 17. Half of the lot on Spring St. and Boltwood Ave will be blocked off for the event. Although it was approved, I found it quite surprising that none of the members questioned the event. From my understanding, Extravaganja is a music festival on the Amherst green that allows anyone who attends to openly smoke marijuana in any way they please. I am not sure of the laws about smoking marijuana in Massachusetts, however I believe you only receive a fine if caught with it but I do not seem to understand how it is okay for this to occur for two days out in the open public.
I do think that it is an enjoyable event and I attended last year but I just found it quite comical that the event was not questioned at the meeting. All members seemed to disregard the fact the marijuana is still illegal in the United States and quickly accepted the proposal for the open lots.