Denver parks officials have denied a permit for a 4/20 rally to an organizer who had been given first consideration for Civic Center on April 20. Now the city is working out details with a second applicant who had been shut out.
The latest twist comes five weeks after first applicant Robert Chase told Denver Parks and Recreation that he would not provide requested details about portable toilets, emergency medical arrangements, crowd monitors, a site plan or trash cleanup. He said he didn’t think those were needed for what he planned as a simple protest rally of continuing criminalization of cannabis under some federal and even state laws despite Colorado’s voter-passed recreational marijuana legalization amendment.
Looking back at 4/20/14
Parks and Rec Executive Director Lauri Dannemiller wrote again to Chase on Feb. 27, making clear that those detailed plans would be a requirement.
Chase didn’t reply, so Dannemiller sent a new letter Wednesday denying his permit application. She sent another letter that day to Anton Marquez, who had applied for a 4/20 rally permit for April 20 after Chase but initially was denied. The holiday for pot enthusiasts is on a Monday this year.
If Montez’s permit is granted, his event — expected to draw roughly 25,000 to the park — would occur following the large annual 4/20 festival over the weekend, on April 18-19.
That festival is organized by Miguel Lopez, who is close with Marquez. Lopez, whose attempt to extend the festival to a third day was denied by the city, instead is planning a rally on April 20 across the street in the park between Broadway and Lincoln Street, on state property.
The city is asking Marquez for the same plans and arrangements for Civic Center that Chase declined to provide. He said Thursday that he planned to submit details to the city by Tuesday, when he has a meeting set with parks officials. He is still lining up bands and sponsors.
“I continued forward with planning just in case,” Marquez said. “My goal was to be prepared just in case something like this happened.”
Chase expressed disappointment and frustration Thursday. He said he still planned to follow through on part of his plan on April 20 by encouraging marijuana legalization supporters to march on the State Capitol, to protest “the prohibitionists at work.”
About parks officials, Chase said: “They are subverting the purpose of the rally by denying a public assembly permit.”