Denver pot holiday bringing crowds, tight security

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm •  Published: April 20, 2013
Advertisement
;

DENVER (AP) — A crowd of marijuana smokers expected to swell to 80,000 gathered Saturday in Denver to mark the counterculture holiday known as 4/20 on the first celebration since Colorado and Washington made pot legal for recreation use.

Reggae music filled the air, and so did the smell of marijuana, as celebrants gathered by mid-morning in a park just beside the state Capitol. Few police were in sight, though public marijuana use is still prohibited here.

"People aren't afraid to come out and celebrate it, the way they used to be," said 52-year-old Charles Bade of Denver.

Bade carried a tie-dyed flag with a big cannabis leaf and wore a garland of fake marijuana leaves around his neck. He said he's been marking 4/20 privately since he was 11 but decided to join this year's public smoke-out to celebrate the votes by Colorado and Washington last year to defy federal drug law and make pot legal.

Authorities generally look the other way at public pot smoking here on April 20. Police said this week they're focused on crowd security in light of attacks that killed three at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

"We're aware of the events in Boston," said Denver police spokesman Aaron Kafer, who declined to give specifics about security measures being taken. "Our message to the public is that, if you see something, say something."

Organizers say the event — which drew 50,000 people last year — could bring a record 80,000 this year, since it's the first celebration since Colorado and Washington voted to make pot legal for recreational use.

Group smoke-outs are also planned Saturday from New York to San Francisco. The origins of the number "420" as a code for pot are murky, but the drug's users have for decades marked the date 4/20 as a day to use pot together.

Denver's celebration this year also features the nation's first open-to-all Cannabis Cup, a marijuana competition patterned after one held in Amsterdam.

| |

Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    WATCH: Top 10 crossovers of the NBA season
  2. 2
    Whoopi Goldberg Lands Pro-Marijuana Column
  3. 3
    Team clones stem cells from 75-year-old's skin
  4. 4
    LinkedIn tops 300 million members
  5. 5
    Chris Brown trial could start Friday afternoon
+ show more