Rachel Himes, left, gets checked by a security official at one of the entrances to Denver's 420 rally at Civic Center Park April 20, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

In defense of this year’s Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center

Re: “It’s past time for Denver’s 4/20 to grow up and be cool,” April 25 editorial.

There is an annual tradition in Colorado in April.

It begins at about 4:21 p.m. on April 20.

It is the ritual finger-wagging of the cloistered critics, gaping jealously from the outside in, at the Denver 420 Rally in Civic Center.

This yearly post-event temper tantrum fails to stop the event. This year, however, the anti-freedom cabal descended into absurdity.

Denver’s emotional mayor piled on, joined by the Denver Post editorial board, which channeled its inner Carrie Nation to crusade against 420’s “debauchery” and “irreverence.” (And we’re uncool?)

The Post’s principal scold against 420? First, paper trash generated by 50,000 people (the approximate population of Broomfield), confined to a small few-block area for a day, was not cleaned up fast enough. We cleaned the park, at our own expense. We left it in better condition than before. It looks fine. Case closed.

It is astounding that snapshots taken at a point in time during the clean-up effort would be manipulated into a newspaper scandal.

Second, The Post condemned people who jumped fences that surrounded Civic Center, frustrated with the wait. These fences and security personnel were placed there at the city’s demand. And it is our fault that the city’s requirements caused this?

Third, The Post engages in the tired refrain that since marijuana has been “legalized,” there is no “need” for a rally, and those consumers should, oxymoronically, “grow up and be cool,” slink home and not disturb polite society. Fact: Marijuana has not been “legalized.” Not federally, and not under Colorado law. Hundreds of people are prosecuted every year under Colorado’s criminal prohibition of marijuana that has become more harsh since Amendment 64. The need for a political rally is even greater now than before.

The Denver 420 Rally is a positive and valuable addition to Denver’s diverse culture. If a rally’s message or content offends you, in a free country, you always have the option of not attending.

Robert J. Corry Jr., a Denver attorney, is general counsel to the Denver 420 Rally.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com