DEL MAR — Directors of the 22nd District Agricultural Association (San Diego County Fair) voted unanimously to make the 2009 fair (June 12 through July 5) a smoke-free event except for limited designated areas.
This action was taken during the regular monthly directors’ meeting held Oct. 14 at the fairgrounds and was in response to a request from representatives of several family-oriented organizations who appeared last month and complained that marijuana smoking was rampant last summer, particularly during reggae concerts.
Five speakers praised the board for its timely and positive response to their concerns.
Judi Strang, executive director of San Dieguito Alliance for Drug Free Youth, said a recent report on drug use showed that 74 percent of school-age students indicated marijuana was the drug of choice and 21 percent of those from the local area indicated they had smoked pot within the last 28 days.
Under the adopted policy, reggae concerts will be presented in the grandstand and will require a paid admission ticket with the minimum age for attendance being 21 years in accordance with the statewide alcohol law. Attendees will be given wrist bands to ensure age. Increased security at concerts will be present to enforce the no-smoking edic. Anti-drug signs will be strategically located and no smoking announcements will be made during concerts. The district will be more diligent in enforcing its standing policy prohibiting the sale, promotion and advertising of drug paraphernalia and merchandise. Performance contracts of entertainers will include language prohibiting the use and promotion of illegal drugs and paraphernalia while performing and while they are on the ground.
General Manager Tim Fennell said the district will do everything possible to enforce the prohibition; however, it will require the cooperation of fair visitors as well.
Continued violations could cause the fair to impose additional stringent regulations, Fennel said.