Civic Center Park in Denver every year gets covered in a cloud of smoke during the event. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post file)

It’s official: Denver 4/20 rally organizers get permit for two-day festival

Denver police say they will focus on ensuring safety rather than issuing mass citations for public consumption

Denver Parks and Recreation on Thursday gave the official go-ahead to organizers of this year’s 4/20 rally, which has grown into a two-day festival.

That means parks officials have resolved any concerns remaining from a fight over whether the city should sanction public consumption of marijuana during the massive April 19-20 event at Civic Center park, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

Organizer Miguel Lopez and attorney Robert Corry had asked the city in February to publicly endorse the widespread pot smoking that long has occurred during the event anyway without police permission.


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But officials, including Mayor Michael Hancock and City Attorney Scott Martinez, balked, noting that Amendment 64 did not permit the public use of cannabis, and city ordinance explicitly bars it.

The resolution of the dispute included organizers’ agreement to post those rules at the festival. They also will advise attendees that pot consumption in public still is illegal, though organizers disagree with the law.

Denver police say they will take the same approach as usual this year, focusing on ensuring safety rather than issuing mass citations for public consumption.

This story was first published on The Spot