The Official Word on 4/20 in Denver
After months of speculation, it seems Colorado will not be relaxing the ban on public consumption of marijuana for the state’s 4/20 festivities. Organizers of events such as the 420 Rally in Civic Center Park and the Daze on the Green music festival had high hopes officials would grant an exemption for public use during the weekend of April 19-20, but the crackdown on marijuana may actually be stricter than in years past.
The keynote 420 Rally, for instance, was approved by the City of Denver only because the event’s organizer, Miguel Lopez, promised to formally discourage toking up amongst attendees—particularly at the ritualistic time of 4:20 on 20 April. Furthermore, the green in front of City Hall will be fenced in for the first time and people will be searched at the admission gates to discourage open containers of marijuana from entering the park grounds. After the gang shooting at last year’s rally, a private security team will monitor public safety alongside local law enforcement authorities to boot.
Although police officers are known to turn a blind eye to those partaking relatively discreetly on 4/20, there is some concern amongst festival-goers that legalizing marijuana has now clearly defined what is and is not acceptable practice. In addition to still being a federal offense, smoking weed in public areas (or even city hotel rooms, for that matter) is absolutely against the law and better-informed cops may be more motivated to issue citations as a result.
At the least, law enforcement won’t have any sympathy for those driving stoned next weekend, so plan on taking the light rail or calling your friendly Lyft driver when it’s time to go home (parking’s a nightmare downtown anyway).
We certainly don’t intend to be Debbie Downers on what’s meant to be a carefree weekend, but it’s definitely worth keeping one eye open as you enjoy all the celebrations.
Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.