Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Mayor Hancock says Denver 4/20 rally’s pro-pot stance concerns him

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Tuesday that 4/20 marijuana rally organizers’ initial stance sanctioning pot smoking at the event makes him hesitant to issue them a permit.

The organizers, including attorney and activist Robert Corry, withdrew that claim Monday and are trying to smooth over a rift with city officials as they seek a festival permit for Civic Center.

Coverage of all things 4/20 — music, news, events

“We’re still looking at it on a legal level,” Hancock told The Denver Post on Tuesday after an event launching a new cultural plan.

“You know, we’re not going to allow anyone to forecast that they’re going to break our laws,” he continued. “So we’re going to try to work with the organizers as much as possible, and if not … we’ll see where the lawyers direct us to go from there.”

Organizers are planning the annual 4/20 pro-cannabis rally, which typically draws tens of thousands, for April 19-20.

Corry wrote in a letter to city officials Monday that organizers would revert to their normal stance of leaving the decision of whether to smoke pot up to event attendees.

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Amendment 64 legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana but does not permit public consumption of pot.

Corry had argued in another letter to the city last month that as permit holders, the organizers could regulate pot use in Civic Center. He rescinded that letter in his Monday correspondence, prompting a return letter full of questions from City Attorney Scott Martinez.

Corry said the mayor’s comment about working with organizers was encouraging.

He hopes to meet with Martinez in person soon rather than exchanging more letters.

“An issue like this is best to deal with in a collaborative approach,” Corry said. “We want to really hear them out and listen to what their true concerns are about marijuana.”

Jon Murray: 303-954-1405, or

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