The promoters of the annual Coachella music festival, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), recently announced that cannabis use would not be allowed at the event this April, even though recreational marijuana was legalized in California in 2016 and commercial sales began Jan. 1. The city of Indio, where the festival is held, has banned new pot businesses, but Coachella is on private property. So what gives?
The event’s promoter made the call. “NO Drugs or Drug Paraphernalia, Marijuana, Marijuana products will be allowed,” the Coachella website warns. That’s the rule for camping at Coachellaas well.
Anschutz’s History of Contributions to Antidrug GroupsWhile Coachella’s marijuana ban is standard festival policy, it’s not widely known that AEG founder Philip Anschutz’s private family foundation has donated thousands of dollars to antidrug groups over the last few years, including Kevin Sabet’s Sam Inc. (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and Smart Colorado.
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Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.