HAZEL PARK, Mich. (FOX 2) – Just last week — leaders in hazel park relaxed the rules when it comes to psychedelic plants like “magic mushrooms” but apparently smoking pot in public is taking things too far.
Some in the community are pushing back against a “hash bash” style music festival planned for this summer. Folks at Green Acres Park are very opinionated about the possibility of Spark in the Park.
It is an event that would allow 4,200 people to come to the festival, which would feature marijuana with designated places to smoke it, music, and more. It still needs city council approval but the opinions of residents are mixed.
“It’s disrespectful to the kids and people that don’t believe in it,” said Jerome Zeoli.
Zeoli, who was playing volleyball with his daughters at Green Acres Park, says he doesn’t want his kids exposed to marijuana— especially not at the park they visit once a week.
“I am against it,” he said. “I’ve never smoked it in my life. You’ve got a bunch of kids playing out here, they don’t need to see that.”
Spark in the Park’s Event Brite page says the two-day festival would include Michigan craft cannabis brands, a concert and an Olympics of weed competition. An organizer also says there would be designated tents set up for people to smoke.
“It’s not my thing,” said Zeoli. “I brought my kids up in the world to not do any drugs, I want it to stay that way.”
Residents Scott Reinhart and Stephen Tarnowski were playing disc golf at the park — and say they are on board.
“I feel like it’s a blessing, because why do I have to hide in your house when you can smoke and have fun at some festival, that’s what I think,” said Scott Reinhart. “Just to have it in one area to just smoke and have fun, I don’t think anything is going to get damaged we’re just here to have fun, too.”
“I think it’s awesome i think it will bring awareness to that culture and bring some people to this park,” said Tarnowski.
Meanwhile, Hazel Park City Councilman Luke Londo says the Spark in the Park organizers are working to address the concerns brought up by his fellow council members.
“We are in a residential area right here, noise adjacent to a lot of the residences of Hazel Park, as well as Ferndale,” he said. “Parking is going to be a bit of a challenge, I know there will be parking across the city and a shuttle situation, noise, and odor are also a concern.”
Organizers sent FOX 2 a statement saying in part, “Despite the long battle to legalize adult use of cannabis, there still remains significant stigma associated with cannabis use in public. Spark in the Park seeks to address this stigma by hosting a fun, safe, and entertaining event that is respectful of our hosts, the people of Hazel Park.
“Our event will be non-alcoholic, with adequate security as mandated by the state, and feature enclosed fire-safe smoking tents with hvac systems to minimize the impact on the surrounding community.”
“We have a lot of dispensaries,” Londo said. “We’re about to open the first consumption lounge in the state, we just decriminalized (psychedelic mushrooms), no one has an issue with the substance of the festival – it is just more or less making sure we are benefiting the residents.:
The City Council will vote on this at their meeting on April 12th. If approved, it will be in June.