May 24, 2010 7:40 PM
Hundreds of people are anxiously waiting for the Tehama County planning director to decide whether to grant an event permit to Donna Will. Will is hoping to put on the World Hemp Expo Extravaganja over the Memorial Day weekend. About eighteen-hundred people are expected to come to the festival which will include live music, belly dancing, food, and marijuana for those legally allowed to smoke it. "They're going to get transported into a world that's filled with compassion and love and where there is no violence, no anger, hostility. This is a ceremony that's trying to heal some of the damage that's been done by the drug laws," explained Steve Hager, creative director for High Times Magazine.
Although a permit has not yet been granted, volunteers are already setting up for the three day event which takes place right here on Riverside Avenue in Red Bluff. The Tehama County board of supervisors adopted an ordinance last month, which regulates events that will have five-hundred or more people attending. The 1970 ordinance was repealed. "We're working to meet every requirement so that we don't have any problems and if they deny me my permit, I plan to have a friendly protest," Will stated.
Some neighbors are already quietly protesting the event. "We are concerned about the traffic, we're concerned about the trash, whether they'll stay over there or whether they'll be going to be out and about," an anonymous neighbor said.
Several Tehama County agencies met Monday to discuss the festival. A decision to deny a permit, approve or approve with conditions is expected by Tuesday. The World Hemp Expo Extravaganja takes place this Friday through Sunday.
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