My wife and I have been residents of Beacon Hill for more than forty years. We have had the good fortune to be witnesses and beneficiaries of the great progress that Boston has made as a city over that long period of time. Like many of our neighbors and fellow Bostonians, we have enjoyed the revival of our parks and waterways. We understand that public access to our parks is an important factor in the vital role that green spaces play in urban living.
I am writing to you to voice our concern that one of the approved uses of the Boston Common, the annual Hempfest, is most certainly not in the best interest of the citizens of Boston. We understand that the usual claim of “freedom of speech” used by the promoter to win court approval is a difficult obstacle for public policy makers to overcome. However, three days of public debauchery and lewd behavior by the participants surely stretches that definition of free speech. Any reasonable person can understand that which makes me wonder about the quality of our judiciary, It is a miserable experience for residents and visitors alike and surely must be stopped or relocated. Those of us who park in the Undergroundf Common Garage are already inconvenienced almost every weekend in the fall by a road race or march for some worthy, charitable cause. We can live with that because the cleanup in the aftermath is thorough and well executed. The same cannot be said for the Hempfest where the condition of the Common is unfit for people and pets.
I understand that there is some evidence that the promoted derived economic benefit from what is obviously a commercial event. If that is the case, insist on a $1 million dollar bond with a surcharge for cleanup.
I hope that the various decision makers in the City will reach the obvious conclusion that the Hempfest is not in the public interest and deny Mass Cannabis a permit to hold their function on the Boston Common. How would you like to have stoned teenagers roaming the streets where you live, urinating and worse on private building. The Common and Beacon Hill are together among the most important tourist destinations in the City. The international and national image of Boston suffers as a result of the Hempfest. Please stop the misery!
Albert H. Elfner III