High Security for Denver Marijuana Celebration
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High Security for Denver Marijuana Celebration
Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2013 at 05:20:01 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Denver -- As tens of thousands of people gather to celebrate and smoke marijuana in Denver, police will be out in full force. But it's not the pot smoking they're concerned about at the yearly event, billed as the nation's largest April 20 celebration. Instead, police say they're focused on crowd security in light of attacks that killed three at the finish line of the Boston Marathon."We're aware of the events in Boston," said Denver police spokesman Aaron Kafer, who declined to give specifics about security measures being taken. "Our message to the public is that, if you see something, say something."
Organizers say the event — which drew 50,000 people last year — could bring a record 80,000 this year, since it's the first celebration since Colorado and Washington voted to make pot legal for recreational use.Even with the legalization, Colorado law bans open and public marijuana use. Still, authorities generally look the other way. The smoke hangs thick over a park at the base of the state Capitol, and live music keeps the crowd entertained well past the moment of group smoking at 4:20 p.m.Group smoke-outs are also planned Saturday from New York to San Francisco. The origins of the number "420" as a code for pot are murky, but the drug's users have for decades marked the date 4/20 as a day to use pot together.Denver's celebration this year also features the nation's first open-to-all Cannabis Cup, a marijuana competition patterned after one held in Amsterdam.Similar to a beer or wine festival, pot growers compete for awards for taste, appearance and potency of their weed. Denver's event, sponsored by High Times magazine, has sold out more than 5,000 tickets. Snoop Lion, the new reggae- and marijuana-loving persona for the rapper better known as Snoop Dogg, will receive a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from High Times. And the hip-hop group Cypress Hill was set to perform a sold-out concert Saturday evening in Colorado's iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.The celebration should be especially buoyant this year, organizer Miguel Lopez said, because it marks the first observation since Colorado and Washington voted to defy federal drug law and declare pot OK for adults over 21.Both states are still waiting for a federal response to the votes and are working on setting up commercial pot sales, which are still limited to people with certain medical conditions. In the meantime, pot users are free to share and use the drug in small amounts.Lopez said the holiday is more than an excuse to get high — it's also a political statement by people who want to see the end of marijuana prohibition."You don't have to smoke weed to go to 4/20 rallies. You don't have to be gay to go to a Pride festival. You don't have to be Mexican to celebrate Cinco de Mayo," Lopez said."That's what this is. It's a celebration, it's a statement about justice and freedom and this movement."Colorado's weekend celebrations drew plenty of marijuana activists from out of state."Never have I ever imagined I could do this on American soil," said Eddie Ramirez, an Austin, Texas, pot user who attended a "420 Happy Hour" Friday at a downtown Denver hotel. "Being a smoker my whole life, this has been on my bucket list — go scuba diving, go deep-sea fishing and go to the Cannabis Cup."One place pot-smoking won't be as evident this year is the University of Colorado in Boulder. The school once was home to the nation's largest group smoke-out on April 20. More than 10,000 people showed up in 2010, and in 2011 Playboy magazine cited the celebration and named the campus the nation's No. 1 party school.Last year, school officials closed the site of the party, Norlin Quad, on April 20. They planned to rope off the area again this year.Lopez conceded that many don't appreciate the April 20 smoke-outs. But he insisted they at least force marijuana critics to talk about the drug and consider its legal status."Not everybody likes everything in America. That's one of the great things, that we can express ourselves," Lopez said.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published:  April 20, 2013Copyright: 2013 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #18 posted by afterburner on April 23, 2013 at 06:41:57 PT
Still SAFER!
Pot Is Safer Than Booze: So Why Is Celebrating 4/20 a Crime, While It's OK to Get Wasted on St. Paddy's Day?
AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne. 
Happy 4/20. Don't get arrested. 
April 19, 2013 put a new meaning on Chillin' braving cold winds that made it difficult to light the blazing torch of freedom at this year's 420 rally in the great white north. Difficult, but not impossible!
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Comment #17 posted by JiMorrison on April 22, 2013 at 22:52:39 PT:
Denver 420 Triumph and Tragedy
As I prepared Sat. aft. to Revel in the joy of something I thought I'd never live to see, I suddenly found out that NONE of the Denver TV stations were live streaming the 420 event in Denver, projected to have 80,000 in attendance. 
Unable to find the live stream after an hour of searching,6 hrs later I checked again to discover to my horror that this magnificent event had been marred by gun violence ! 
Worse still, Monday, almost all media have totally ignored it, & No info about arrests of the shooters !
Can Anyone understand how an event of this proportion could be ignored by virtually all public media ? Huff. Post carried only a vid of people scattering madly after the gun shots went off, a brief story, & that was it. I trust all people who support hemp, medpot, & legal pot will dig deeper for themselves.
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Comment #16 posted by museman on April 21, 2013 at 11:23:34 PT
One tactic...
Its a last gasp tactic - to discredit and propagandize...Feds: "See what happens when you let these people smoke pot legally?"Joe public mammon worshipper: "OMG! The hippies turned into rednecks!"How many will agree when the O administration starts talking about 'terrorists' and 'drug use' in reference to this? Gun control and justification for prohibition all in one neat little display of CIA instigated corruption?LEGALIZE FREEDOM
Colorado’s first legal ‘420’ rally marred by gunfire
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Comment #15 posted by The GCW on April 21, 2013 at 06:21:25 PT
Hemp for Colorado & America
Colorado hemp grower to plant historic first U.S. crop in decades
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on April 20, 2013 at 23:17:23 PT
I didn't miss it! Posting on good old Pacific Time! Whoo hoo!Happy 4/20, friends!
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on April 20, 2013 at 23:15:47 PT
Oops! I missed it!
I hope everyone had a good one, though!
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Comment #12 posted by The GCW on April 20, 2013 at 22:27:52 PT
Cannabis use in sports.
This is one of the best articles on cannabis use in sports that I've read.-Why won't sports accept medical marijuana (cannabis)?-Herbal Remedy
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Comment #11 posted by John Tyler on April 20, 2013 at 20:36:32 PT
Happy 420
I hope I am not too late. I brought a song. Give it a listen and think how it can be. was at an Earth Day Celebration today.Peace and Love
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on April 20, 2013 at 17:32:55 PT
Happy 4:20 to you too!
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Comment #9 posted by fight_4_freedom on April 20, 2013 at 17:25:14 PT
Happy 4/20 C-News
Love you all!!!!! Thanks for all you do!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 20, 2013 at 17:00:53 PT
Shots Fired in Denver's Civic Center
April 20, 2013Two people were shot in Denver's Civic Center during Saturday's 4/20 pot rally.A man and a woman were both shot in the leg, said Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson. Their injuries are not life-threatening.Denver police are asking witnesses that fled to come forward with information, Jackson said.Both victims were taken to Denver Health Medical Center.URL:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 20, 2013 at 14:01:55 PT
Happy 4:20 to you too!
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on April 20, 2013 at 13:43:37 PT
Happy 420 FoM and everybody 
best thoughts 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 20, 2013 at 12:48:00 PT
That was a good one! That made me laugh.
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Comment #4 posted by BGreen on April 20, 2013 at 12:21:56 PT
FoM re: post #1
Happy 4/20 to you, also. That wasn't the only time we were hosed during the Bush administration. LOLBud
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on April 20, 2013 at 06:47:35 PT
Hemp Fest!
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on April 20, 2013 at 06:37:40 PT
FoM, Another important new development.
Court ruling may color stoned driving debate — A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court could change Colorado's latest debate over marijuana driving limits.Opponents are hoping lawmakers reject the blood standard again this year, based in part on a ruling issued this week that says officers must try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests to determine driver impairment.The high court's decision stemmed from a Missouri drunk-driving case in which a man's blood was taken without a warrant. The prevailing justices determined the blood test was an unreasonable search of an unwilling driver. Justices noted “physical intrusion beneath (the defendant's) skin and into his veins to obtain a blood sample.”Cont.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 20, 2013 at 06:15:32 PT
Happy 4:20 Everyone
It sure is a far cry from when they turned hoses on the crowd when Bush was President! Enjoy the day and be safe!
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