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Residents Upset Over Marijuana Music Festival In Fairplay

FAIRPLAY, Colo. (CBS4) – A marijuana music festival has upset a lot of the residents of Fairplay. The three-day event is drawing in an estimated 8,000 people from all over Colorado and the U.S.

People in town complain that the festival is littering their backyard with drugs, crime and noisy party-goers.

The South Park Music Festival is a public event but it's on private property. That's why Park County sheriff officials say it's legal for the thousands of attendees to smoke pot in the open.

The vent has a lineup of 120 bands.

"In concerts, people are smoking cannabis anyway. So now that it's legal, it's just, it's kind of a relief," festival attendee Alicia Peacock said. "Because it's a medical thing, you know, it's not like a drug abuse thing always."

The festival's event producer, J.J. Welker, says contrary to nearby Fairplay residents' complaints of drugs, noise and trash stemming from previous and unrelated events, the South Park Music Fest is a benefit to the area.

"It's bringing a lot of revenue to the city. We run a very organized event, and I think after this weekend they're going to understand, 'Oh, that is the way you run a festival,' " Welker said.

"As long as they're not going out, getting super stoned, and then driving. Just like drinking, it's all in moderation," recreational marijuana smoker Mary Ochse said.

The event indeed has attracted people from all over.

"New York, Florida, California, Wyoming," festival attendee Ashton Alvarado said. "So I think it's really good for our economy."

Park County sheriff officials say they are actively patrolling festival grounds and surrounding neighborhoods. They say the last event at that venue just a couple weeks ago did cause some problems, including 12 medical calls, 56 traffic stops and four trespassing calls.

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