4/20 at Civic Center: On the scene with our marijuana critic

Categories: Marijuana

420 balloons on head by william breathes.jpg
Photo by William Breathes
Westword marijuana critic William Breathes is filing dispatches from the 4/20 celebration at Civic Center Park. Read from the bottom up to follow them in chronological order.

4:56 p.m.: Found my ride...

Fun rally. As is always the case with the 4/20 rally, the actual event of smoking pot in public was the highlight of the day for most everyone. It was cool to see so many different types of people burning down with each other - black kids from Five Points repping colors, passing huge blunts with pot-leaf-necklace-wearing, curly haired hippie girls.

It was more packed than last year, which shows how many people are learning about medical cannabis and cannabis in general.

Happy 4/20, everyone.

4:55 p.m.: Where the eff... Lots of dazed looking people walking around downtown.

4:47 p.m.: No Willie Nelson. Struck with disappointment (and in need of a pot nap), I decided there wasn't much more to cover. I made my way north on Bannock through the crowds, cops and TV-news reporters into downtown for my ride and (predictably) got lost.

4:37 p.m.: The smoke cloud in the crowd was crazy. As thick as a clambaked college dorm room on a Saturday night. I walked around in the haze for a while, passing doobies with people and loading pipes here and there. I found shelter near the Anthony's booth, watching people burn blunts in line on Bannock Street. Lots of blunts here today, lots of folks medicating.

The crowd has grown a lot, and it's getting hard to get from one end of the park to another. Bannock is like the parking lot of Red Rocks before a Widespread Panic show -- complete with hippie burrito salesmen.

4:35 p.m.: It's packed here like the GA section of a Phish show. No Willie yet... Still trying to get to the stage area

4:28 p.m.:Smoked some golden goat with a guy and his self-proclaimed-lightweight dad, and watched the haze rise over the crowd. The skies cleared up right at 415, only to get hazy again at 4/20 -- his time a slightly different haze.

I may be high, but I think I just heard that my idol, Willie Nelson, is here... Going to investigate.

4:01 p.m.: The brisket stand is killing it right now. There's chopped brisket flying through the air as red-eyed hordes crowd the counter. On stage, spray-painted girls danced to some local rap as pot clouds lifted over the chatty crowd... Afterward, more speakers gave more facts and figures about legalization that we'll all forget anyway.

I posted up near the back with some gutter punks smoking imported dirt and talking about the evils of Walmart... Twenty minutes to go... Super silver haze packed and ready to go.

3:26 p.m.: Green is the color of the day -- even for balloons.High from Civic Center! It's a hazy day in the park, but the lack of sun didn't keep several thousand ganja tokers and medicinal smokers away. Walked through the crowd getting some pics and checking out the people. Lots of juggalos and hippies burning joints and blunts on the western lawn of the park. Not together, so much... But at least they have found some common ground.

Lots of youngins here, too. If you're wondering where your East high schooler is, the answer is: Probably here.

The amphitheater is closed off for the rehab project, so this year the main stage is on Bannock in front of the City and County building.

Some guy burning a swisher referred to the main strip of booths down the middle as "the tunnel." The booths -- mostly dispensaries -- are way too close together and there's a thick crowd.

Otherwise, things seem chill here -- no hassles by the police that I've seen, and I'm watching some old dude burn a sloppy schwag joint in front of five cops now. Guess that means it's cool for me to civilly disobey....

More to come. In the meantime, page through on-the-scene photos below:

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