Pot rally organizers say they have permits for 4/20 festival and plan to tighten security

Organizers say they don't encourage breaking law

DENVER - The 4/20 rally is two weeks away and this year there will be big changes at Civic Center Park, according to organizers.

The changes come in part because of an outbreak of gunfire last year that injured three people, and also because of the legalization of recreational marijuana on Jan. 1.

Event organize Miguel Lopez said security will be much more noticeable this year.

One glaring difference from last year to this year is that the whole park will be enclosed with a fence, with only four entrances for participants to come and go.

"People will be able to come here and feel safe," said Lopez.

Lopez said they have obtained the necessary permits to be considered a full-fledged festival versus a political rally in the past.

Lopez said this year's permits for the Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20 event cost about $14,000.

Even though Amendment 64 made retail sales legal, it's still illegal to publicly consume. And despite recent controversy that rally organizers were going to encourage people to toke up in the park, Lopez said that's not the case.

"We've never encouraged people to break the law. It's the responsibility of the permit holder not to create any chaos or disorder," he said.

Despite that stance, it's no secret what happens in Civic Center Park during the 4/20 rally. Last year 7NEWS' cameras caught several people toking up while Denver police took no action.

Lopez said this year there will be "no coolers, a pat down and an express lane for those that don't have any bags."

And the fact that retail sales will be legal for the first time on April 20 means pot businesses like LoDo Wellness are gearing up as well.

"We expect sales to be at or near where they were for the first few weeks in January after retail sales became legal," said Adam Segalis, assistant manager with LoDo Wellness. "For example, we are preparing custom shirts, pipes, lighters -- all to give away. We expect it to be pretty nuts around here."

 

Print this article Back to Top