Tobacco and marijuana smoking an issue at racetrack concerts

By Kathy Day

Battles over smoking at the fairgrounds have moved to the racetrack where concertgoers have been lighting up – and not just tobacco.

Joe Harper, president and general manager of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, beat several people to the punch on the issue on Aug. 14. They had come to the 22nd Agricultural District’s directors meeting to tell stories about what they say has been happening at the post-race concerts.

“Smoking is an issue, smoking marijuana is an issue – and that’s against the law,” said Dean Scott, one of a group of regular attendees who pushed the fair board to declare the venue a non-smoking one  — but to exempt the actual racetrack from the rules. However, the rules do apply to the concert series.

But before Scott, who in June volunteered to serve on the board’s non-smoking subcommittee, and the others had their say near the end of the meeting, Harper had already told the board that they thoroughbred club staff needed to work on the matter.

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