"Mardi Grass" festival goes to Oakland

Posted on July 14th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

INTCHEThe East Bay Express' Legalization Nation blog reports July 13 that organizers expect up to 30,000 to pack Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall on Sept 3-4 for the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo 2011—dubbed "Mardi Grass" by blogger David Downs. Tickets for the event just went on sale for $18, marking the first time Oakland has turned over public space for a a paid cannabis-oriented event. Plans call for three entertainment stages, some 400 industry vendors, dozens of food trucks, guest celebrities, and heavy hitters from the movement. The expo will also feature an open-air "215" area for medical cannabis patients.

The annual event's usual home is the Cow Palace in Daly City, but venue operators there denied INTCHE 2011 the "215 area," illogically citing recent ecstasy overdose deaths at an unrelated rave as the reason.

Interestingly, the city will also be holding its own Gay Pride that weekend—Oakland Pride 2011. Salwa Ibrahim, the city coordinator for INTCHE, considers this a pleasant coincidence. "In many ways, pot is the new gay," said Ibrahim, who has been an assistant to Richard Lee at Oaksterdam University. "We've often considered a campaign to encourage people to come out of the closet."



"215 area" at Cow Palace?

Bill Weinberg's picture

 The Cow Palace reportedly wouldn't allow a "215 Area" at the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo earlier this year, prompting the move to Oakland. But now we hear that there is in fact a "215 Area" at the West Coast Cannabis Expo, currently underway at the Cow Palace. Perhaps off-premises? If anyone is there, please give us a report?

Comment by Bill Weinberg on Oct 9th, 2011 at 12:50 am

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