Big beach mess after 4/20

The sun has risen and the haze has cleared, but Vancouver's Sunset Beach will take months to get back to normal after thousands attended Friday's 4/20 pro-marijuana event, according to the Vancouver Park Board.

"Our field is in pretty rough shape," Park Board chair Stuart Mackinnon told CTV on Saturday. 

The field is closed while it is cleaned, aerated, irrigated and re-seeded, Mackinnon said, who added it likely won't reopen until at least July 1. 

"Because of this overuse year after year, the field can't take much more."

City staff began cleaning up at 1 a.m. on Saturday, beginning by picking up all the garbage left on the field.

“That came at the taxpayers' expense, for city crew to come in here at 1 o’clock in the morning to pick up the mountains of garbage,” Mackinnon said.

One of the 4/20 organizers, Dana Larsen, told CTV on Friday organizers are willing to pay for the cleanup work. He expects organizers will pay back about $20,000 to the city and between $10,000 and $20,000 to the park board.

Despite the damage, some residents in the area said it wasn't the worst they've seen at the annual 4/20 rally.

There were 23 medical emergencies at the event on Friday, according to first responders. Ten people were treated for overdoses and eight were taken to hospital.

Police said there were no major incidents, but noted one man was arrested for a breach of probation and one youth is facing assault and weapons charges following a pepper spray incident.

The event was likely the last before recreational marijuana is legalized, and organizers told CTV they expect it to go on as usual next year.

- with files from CTV Vancouver

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