Denver officials link legal weed to 16th Street Mall issues — two activists respond

Denver’s mayor and police officials recently addressed a rash of crime and a “scourge of hoodlums” on the city’s 16th Street Mall by putting some of the blame on legal weed.

So-called “urban travelers,” young transients who police say arrive for 4/20 and stick around through the summer months, have been aggressive, intimidating and violent to passers-by on the downtown walking mall, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.

After an incident in late June when Clarence Seeley, of Indiana, was arrested after swinging a large PVC pipe at pedestrians, Hancock doubled down on his earlier statements: “This is one of the results of the legalization of marijuana in Denver, and we’re going to have to deal with it.”

Longtime marijuana activists Kim Sidell, owner of Cannabis Camera, and Jordan Person, executive director of Denver NORML, join Cannabist editor-in-chief Ricardo Baca on The Cannabist Show to respond to the claims of Hancock and police.

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