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Festival Drug Use a Turn Off When You Bring Your Kids

Last year I took my girlfriend and her kids to the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, CT. This annual event has grown in scope and is part of a trend across the country in music festivals.

Although I’ve been impressed by the improvements each year in set-up and execution of the event, I’m not going this year because last year the open use of drugs during the day made us uncomfortable given that we had a fourteen and eight year old with us.

I’m no prude, but it is clear that the festival cut a deal with the town of Bridgeport. The cops are looking the other way and allowing the Vibes security to handle the situation. I’m not bothered by discreet puffs of pot, but kids openly smoking bongs, rolling joints, and snorting God knows what in broad day light just doesn’t cut it in my book.

I get that the infusion of cash this event brings to the area is essential given how tight budgets at the State and Local level are nowadays. An article in the CT Post over the weekend was all about the money and jobs the event brings the area.

But if you want families to attend (and my guess is, they don’t really care), then you’ve got to keep that activity out of site until deep into the night, and even then, I’m wondering about the mixed signals we send young people about drugs – it’s okay here, but not there.

Clearly there’s a way to balance the need for a town to allow such an event and for an event to set ground rules so that kids can still do what kids do. Perhaps it’s time to also address the contradictory messages our government sends in regards to pot.

Oddly, this reminds me of global warming, a nonissue in this year’s presidential campaign because we need jobs and we must be less dependent on oil. Here in Bridgeport, drug use is okay for the weekend because we need the work and the cash.


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