YAKIMA, WA - You've probably heard of Octoberfest, but have you ever hear of "Croptoberfest"? It's a local event organizers in Zillah are hosting to educate the community on marijuana, but we're learning the City of Zillah may not be too thrilled about the idea.
We spoke with the city and event organizers Thursday afternoon and there was certainly some miscommunication, up until now the city didn't know this event was taking place, let alone if it was even legal.
"Croptoberfest", organizers say it's an event meant to simply educate on the many uses of marijuana and how to properly and legally grow it, but unclear wording in the event flyer caused the City of Zillah some concern.
"The way it was worded definitely raised some flags, so authorities on our end started asking some questions," Zillah Mayor Gary Clark explained.
After reviewing the flyer they saw the event planned to have a "private lounge" where adults would be able to "recreate", leading officials to believe people would be smoking marijuana in public, going against state and local law.
"We weren't sure if it was legal or not, unfortunately right now in Washington state there are a lot of unknowns, because it's all knew to everybody," Mayor Clark explained.
However Croptoberfest organizer, Jedidiah Haney, says it was a misunderstanding and they won't be smoking marijuana, "They were taking the stance that I was attempting to have some sort of free for all smoking cannabis downtown. I just want to educate people about this amazing plant, that doesn't have to get you high."
Mayor Clark did tell us police spoke with Haney on Wednesday clearing up much of the concern, but they will be sending police to patrol the event through out the evening.
"We'll be doing periodic checks like we do with any event where there might be alcohol or anything else that's involved. Our police department is very good at stopping in and making sure people are doing what they should be doing and not doing what they shouldn't be," Clark explained.
The city did mention they aren't against the educational portion of the event, they say they have three legal grow operations in a 20 mile radius of the city, so education on the product is appreciated.
Croptoberfest is still scheduled to take place this Sunday starting at noon at the Zillah Epicenter.