Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition to host Extravaganja Saturday

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(Cade Belisle/ Daily Collegian)

(Cade Belisle/ Daily Collegian)

The University of Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition will host the 25th annual Extravaganja this Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton.

The event is one of the largest marijuana legalization rallies in the Northeast, according to the event’s Facebook page.

UMCRC is the oldest student-run drug reform group in the country and is collecting donations for this year’s event, according to the group’s Facebook page.

Extravaganja was previously held at the Amherst Town Common, but due to the event’s increasing size and popularity, the venue was changed to better accommodate the needs of hosting Extravaganja, according to the event’s Minute Fund page.

The group has reached more than half of its goal of $5,000 and will continue raising funds until Wednesday at 7 p.m., according to the fund page.

All funds raised for the event will be used to pay for things like the location, private security, trash cleanup, EMTs and staging for the bands and speakers.

The group collaborated with the Northampton police and fire departments to ensure a safe and successful rally, and has been working with its own private security group, said Niki Striar of the reform coalition in an email.

Security will be checking bags at the gates for alcohol, weapons and non-cannabis substances.

The group is encouraging the use of a public transportation, although parking will be available on site for $5, Striar said in the email.

The state campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol promoted a November 2016 statewide ballot initiative, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which would enable adult possession and limited home growing in conjunction with regulatory oversight and taxation on retail marijuana sales.

Extravaganja will host a variety of different speakers including John Dvorak, a hempologist, Kathleen McKinnon of the medical marijuana qualifying program Canna Care Docs, Marvin Cable, a lawyer who handles marijuana cases, Cara Crabb-Burnham of the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis, Will Luzier of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and Donna Hackett, chapter leader of the International Women’s Cannabis Coalition-RI according to the event’s Facebook page.

In addition to speakers, the event will have several music performances from Alchemystics, Ballads & Softcore Porn, Roots of Creation, Llama Lasagne, Crash & The Boys and this year’s winner of The Battle of the Bands: Shokazoba according to the event’s Facebook page.

“We will have six incredible bands performing, as well as eleven exceptional speakers. Overall, the event is coming together very well and looking like it will be the best Extravaganja rally yet!,” said Striar in the email.

Dan Curtin can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @dmcurtin96.

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