|Graphic: OC Weekly|
|Vegas loves a drunk… But not so much a pothead.|
Sin City loves a drunk, but it’s apparently not nearly as fond of stoners.
Cannapalooza, a three-day cannabis convention scheduled to have been held in Las Vegas March 19-21, has been canceled by Mandalay Bay casino, reports Nick Schou in the OC Weekly.
Cannapalooza Executive Director Louis Woznicki was told by one law enforcement official that “potheads” were bad for Vegas.
“We made our money with people who drink alcohol and gamble,” the officer told Woznicki. “People who smoke pot don’t drink and gamble.”
“They were scared,” Woznicki said. “The event was going to be open to 50,000 members of the public and was growing, if you pardon the expression, like a weed.”
”They were very enthusiastic at first, but as time went on, they saw what was going on and started to become a little cannaphobic,” Woznicki said.
Nevada, like more than a dozen other states, has legalized marijuana for medical uses. But the herb remains illegal for any purpose under federal law.
It probably would have been entertaining to be a fly on the wall at a Vegas insiders’ strategy meeting as they were discussing the influx of cannabis fans.
Once the realization dawned on someone, at some level of authority, that tens of thousands of marijuana fans, many selling growing equipment, smoking paraphernalia, vaporizers and related items, would be coming to town, the concept must have proved to be a little scary.
“It was too big and too much and they didn’t know what to do or how to handle it,” Woznicki said.
According to a statement by Woznicki on the Cannapalooza website, Mandalay Bay is telling people who are calling to cancel their reservations that it was the event planners who stopped the show.
“For the record, we have never even remotely considered cancelling,” Woznicki said.
A Mandalay Bay spokesperson wouldn’t discuss Cannapalooza’s cancellation.
“Our policy prohibits us from revealing details of business contracts with any convention customer,” Yvette Monet said. “The contract was terminated for a variety of reasons.”
Vegas hadn’t exactly welcomed Cannapalooza with open arms.
Prior to the event’s cancellation, Woznicki invited the Las Vegas Police Department to meet with him to address any questions they might have had. Showing up at the meeting were 22 cops from a variety of law enforcement and regulatory agencies, including the Clark County Sheriff’s Department and the Nevada Gaming Commission.
“I felt ambushed at that meeting,” Woznicki said. “It started off with them telling me that all vendors with paraphernalia would have their merchandise confiscated and be subject to arrest or fines.” Never mind the fact that every two-bit liquor store up and down the Strip sells glass pipes.
Woznicki hopes to keep the Cannapalooza name alive.
“We’ve had offers from other cities to do it there,” he said.
“We shall rise again. Viva Cannapalooza!”