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Photos: Denver 4/20 rally to be a two-day affair

Thumbnail image for woman at denver 420 rally 2010.JPG
Big photos below.
Ever disappointed that 4/20 only comes once a year? Then Miguel Lopez, organizer of Denver's annual 4/20 rally, has good news for you. Because April 20 falls on a Friday this year, the rally has been expanded to two days, with a full slate of happenings scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 21, as well. Lopez has been busy working out logistics, which this year included a meeting with assorted city officials, including folks from the Denver Police Department.

According to Lopez, he received what he describes as a "forceful" letter from officials of the Michael Hancock administration. However, he sees the resulting meeting with DPD types, several city attorneys and a number of management-level mayoral representatives as a positive development.

miguel lopez photo cropped.jpg
Miguel Lopez.
"Former Mayor Hickenlooper never actually engaged with us or gave us the respect to have a dialogue with us," he says. And while Hancock reps "were questioning whether this was a rally or a festival," he was able to explain that "our primary function is political messaging. And we want to have a positive message."

Indeed, Lopez pointed out that "we address the crowd and ask them not to say, 'F the police.' It's something we just don't want people to do, because they're there protecting our constitutional rights and tolerating our peaceful disobedience. They've done that for the last five years since we've had an official permit, so we don't feel that's appropriate."

David Quinones.JPG
Deputy police chief David Quinones.
Upon mentioning this policy, Lopez says that newly appointed Deputy Chief of Police David Quinones "got out of his chair and gave me a handshake."

Not that Lopez and speakers have ruled out criticism of public officials. His press release about the rally, on view below, emphasizes disagreements with a slew of cannabis-related public policies, including seizure-threat letters sent to 23 dispensaries by U.S. Attorney John Walsh earlier this year.

As for the potential of attendee arrests, Lopez doesn't expect any -- and if ticketing does take place, attorneys Rob Corry and Travis Simpson have pledged to represent those cited.

The schedule of activities is still being finalized, but legendary rapper Too $hort will perform on Friday, as well as at a pre-party on April 19 at Casselman's Bar & Venue. (Casselman's will also host a cannabis-related film festival April 16-18, Lopez reveals.) And on Saturday, Lopez notes that awards and the like will be handed out to local activists. [Update, March 7, 11:27 a.m.: The original version of this post quoted Lopez as saying that High Times's Danny Danko would be speaking on Saturday. Moments ago, Danko contacted us to say he has no plans to appear.]

Still, Lopez emphasizes that "this is a political assembly. Nowhere else in the world is there one like this of its size."

Look below to see Bob Weedman's photos of the 2010 rally courtesy of the Denver 420 Facebook page, followed by the aforementioned Lopez release.

1 denver 420 rally 2010.JPG
Photo by Bob Weedman

2 denver 420 rally 2010.JPG
Photo by Bob Weedman

3 denver 420 rally 2010.JPG
Photo by Bob Weedman

Page down for more photos from Denver's 4/20 event:


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113 comments
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez

Good job Miguel, we got to love what we do or we should stop doing it. I know you put a lot of heart and time in what do you that's why you are the person for the job. I support and all for Denver 4/20 rally..

Wayward Bill
Wayward Bill

TUNE IN TUNe in tune...YO, catch Miguel Lopez, Organizer Denver 420 Rally and Wayward Bill Chengelis, Organizer Denver 420 Rally, Chairman, US Marijuana Party TODAY (March 13) 11a-1p MST on HempRock Radio, Cincinnati. Show is hosted by The Happy Hemptress who has been advocating cannabis legalizaton on the radio and TV since 1992. You can stream the show by a variety of options offered by WVQC Radio.http://www.wvqc.org/hemprockra...

ZengMoo
ZengMoo

Man that jsut looks liek its gonna be fun!Total-Privacy dot US

Popi
Popi

From an outsider, a Oregon MMP, living high in the southern Oregon mountains.  It is sad to see this poor Robert Chase try so hard to convince everyone that he needs a hug.  You are acting like a 6 year old who wants everyone to know you are in the room.  Hey there Robert, give Miguel his due, and stop all your whining, support the rally, chill out, go there and spark it up.  The politicians at your City Hall are not the problem, it is the feds who stand between legal access and the imprisonment of so many political prisoners currently serving prison time for using cannabis.  stop fighting the guys on your team.  peace and love brother     

Dan
Dan

I am the Danny Danko mentioned and I have not been contacted by Miguel Lopez and I am not speaking at this event Saturday Apr. 21. 

Rev. B Baker
Rev. B Baker

THERE IS a 3 day long film festivalwww.cannabisrevivalfilmfestiva... put on by our church www.greenfaithministry.com

4/20 is from april 16 to the 22nd this year!

AND WE HAVE SPONSOR SHIP OPPORTUNITIES to send LEGISLATURES or their minions to the event! ALL Proceeds fund greenfaith Ministry's outreach/services like free mmj, food and assistance to needy mmj families as well as any other needy person with the surplus (mmj excluded) LOL!

Hiedi Handford
Hiedi Handford

What an unbelievably juvenile diatribe. Quite honestly folks....how about keeping the dirty laundry in the closet?

Take it offline please......wow. If any of you are worried about how you're viewed politically read through this thread objectively. 

And don't go attackin my ass either......how about everybody just agree to disagree? No wonder the industry is spinnin it's wheels.......

Wayward Bill
Wayward Bill

After re-reading the many comments posted here I am reminded of a Thomas Paine quote, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way!" Which one are you doing?

I done commenting.

Tmartinez303
Tmartinez303

Onds again, Robert, I gotta say you gotta learn when the right time to do and say things. You, sir, are among the generation before us yet u act like a fucking child sometimes. Just as when we were at a Senate hearing and that was not the the right time to be wondering around Miguel and 420 bashing, niether is this. Quit being immature and blasting people on the internet, grow the fuck up, and voice ur opinions to him like a man. I wonder what u think of bill and I, both being integral parts of 420 as well. U getting rich yet, bill?

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

I still say good on ya, Miguel! Two days, we should all be happy we can come together and celebrate and exchange knowledge.

NORML pays Robert Chase
NORML pays Robert Chase

I think Robert Chase and Russ Belville should have a gay marriage. That way Robert can move out of his mothers house.

From: Paul Kuhn <paul@woodmontcounsel.com>Date: March 5, 2012 7:33:11 PM Subject: My apology as NORML chair

Steve,The email thread below just reached my desk.  As new chair of the NORML board, I find Russ’s language unacceptable.  It will not happen again.Like you, I have worked for both legalization and medical marijuana for a long time.  When I took my first hit of marijuana in 1970, I asked myself, “Why is this a crime?”  When my late wife was battling cancer in the mid-1990s, cannabis worked after expensive legal and lethal drugs failed so I know (many times over) that marijuana is a miracle medicine. As we approach our long-time goal of making marijuana available for all who need it or want it, the NORML board and I are committed to working harmoniously and respectfully with our allies even as we have our differences.I hope you and I have an opportunity to meet over the coming months—perhaps even debate our different points of view.  In the meantime, I offer my personal apology for the intemperate personal attacks from a NORML employee.PaulPaul KuhnNational Organization for the Reform of Marijuana LawsChair, Board of Directors 59 Whitworth Blvd.Nashville TN 37205615-294-6187 (M)paulhk@att.netwww.norml.org Previous Post--The following groupof emails works backwards in order, so please read the last email from Norml's Radical Russ first for a better understanding.Begin forwarded message:From: "Carl Olsen" <carl-olsen@mchsi.com>Date: March 5, 2012 NORML chickens out of the debateTo: 'Steve Sarich'Steve, Russ was going to have me on his show until he found out I was intervening in a case that NORML is involved in.  He told me that his show is not an unbiased news program, but a promotional show for NORML.  We parted on friendly terms, since I agreed that I’m not promoting NORML and the only reason he even knows who I am is because of my legal work. Then again, I have to wonder why you want to debate Russ.  I gladly accepted his decision not to have me on his show.  The only reason I accepted was because he invited me to be on the show.  Then, he turns around and tells me he doesn’t want me on the show if I’m not a NORML robot.  I don’t think he’s worth the time you’re wasting on him.  Let him go on with his clown act. I am interested in his debate with Kevin Sabat.  I’d love to watch that.  Kevin has some excellent points that I totally agree with on why marijuana cannot be in schedules II, III, IV, or V.  We disagree on marijuana being in schedule I, but that’s fair.  His argument for keeping marijuana in schedule I is much weaker than his argument for keeping it out of schedules II through V.  In the case I’m intervening in, NORML is asking the DEA to put marijuana in schedule III, IV, or V.  That’s why I think this debate will be fun to watch.  Neither side has a valid argument.Carl From: Steve Sarich [mailto:steve@cannacare.org]Subject: NORML chickens out of the debate Radical Russ had originally agreed, enthusiastically,  to an independently moderated TV debate with me on all the issues surrounding I-502.  It appears from his cc list that the NORML leadership would rather not see this debate happen now.  It's apparent that they will do everything in their power to control the conversation between now and November.  We need to see to it that they can't get away with that.  Nice to see just exactly what the NORML leadership really thinks about us patients.  They mistakenly think that there are so few of us willing to stand up for ourselves that our votes won't influence the outcome in November. Gotta love old Radical Russ...he's a real "charmer". Steve Sarich          Executive Director   CannaCare Begin forwarded message: From: Russ Belville <russ@norml.org>Date: March 3, 2012            Steve Sarich <steve@cannacare.org>Cc: Paul Armentano <paul@norml.org>, "Allen St. Pierre" <allen@norml.org>, Keith Stroup <keith@norml.org>Subject: On second thought...On second thought, following our recent e-mail thread, I have decided I must decline your offer to "debate" on I-502.It's becoming clear to me that you don't really care about the issue at hand.  After all, you said your "sole" interest was in patients - and this isn't a medical marijuana issue, it's legalization. You have a personal beef with Keith Stroup and NORML (among others) and I'm not interested in being a part of a NORML-bashing party, which this would certainly devolve into.  Surely you would rally a whole bunch of your misguided and ill-informed sycophants to revel in your retelling of over-three-decades-old dirty laundry and it just doesn't sound like it advances the cause of legalization in any way. No doubt you'll take this as evidence that I'm "chicken", which is fine - I'm unable to prevent you from believing a whole host of untrue assertions.  But as I am preparing this weekend for next weekend's actual debate with Dr. Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., a man who was the right hand to the Drug Czar, at the prestigious James E Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, I began to question why in the world I would waste my time and talent to go on a Jerry Springer Show with you. Then, as the emails continued and you insulted and denigrated everything I believe in, I wondered "why am I even giving this insufferable prick the time of day?  After all, who the fuck gives a shit what a professional photographer / solely interested in patients / nobody like Steve Sarich thinks about legalization?" Then I began to consider that really, nobody else gives a shit either.  This "No on I-502" is a tempest in a teapot.  There are 9 tokers for every 1 patient, and there are 5 patients supporting I-502 for every one who doesn't.  Me lending my name and NORML's to any kind of "debate" presupposes that people who smoke pot ought to be debating whether we should legalize marijuana - a ludicrous statement. I'm not playing anymore.  You want to hate on I-502 and NORML?  Fine, you'll have to use your own resources to do it and you get no help from me.  I give up on patients on this one; I'm going to work on convincing enough soccer moms and NASCAR dads and seniors to support it so patients' selfish, paranoid, out-of-proportion fears won't mean diddly at the polls. Don't bother trying to get the last word... you're going directly to spam where you belong.  And next time, I hope the rippers take better aim. Russ BelvilleNORML Outreach Coordinator Social Networks: @RadicalRuss and @NORMLNetShipping: 4110 SE Hawthorne Blvd. #161 - Portland, OR 97214Phone: 503-933-1658 - Fax: 503-257-2567</keith@norml.org></allen@norml.org></paul@norml.org></steve@cannacare.org></russ@norml.org></carl-olsen@mchsi.com></paul@woodmontcounsel.com>

Hivvie clan.
Hivvie clan.

As part of the HIV MMJ collaboration we support you Miguel and Bill.   As for my self, I did not go talk at several events in Colorado and stick my neck out on the line for HIV people and MMJ to see people still fight over little things such as this. We still have people that are sick in hospitals that benefit from mmj at the same time being looked at as heroin addicts. At the same time getting a refill for oxi and Vicodin by the doctor that looks down on such self medicating as he says"don't miss a doss".  I will blaze one in protest of the right to do what I want when I want with my body as I see fit and, as long as it hurt's no one.

 I can just only hope other people bring  sentiments comparable to my own.

If you ever have seen a loved one pass on slowly in pain to the point death is more pleasant of a thought you know where I'm coming from. And thanks to who ever helped give me a place to do that with out being arrested!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

We've corrected the post, which appears to have been spurred by a miscommunication. Appreciate the note.

Wayward Bill
Wayward Bill

Dan sorry for any inconvienence this has caused you.  Hopefully we can get together at the HTMCC.  Looking forward to seeing and talking to you. Peace, Pot, Politics,Wayward Bill ChengelisChairman, US Marijuana Party

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

We know which you are doing -- following Miguel and blocking the way!

Wayward Bill
Wayward Bill

No but I learn something from The Denver 4/20 Rally every year. One of my daily mantras is that if you don't learn something new daily you aren't living life. Putting the rally on is my pay and all the happy smiling stoned faces beaming up at me when I am on the stage is my bonus.  We do good Tiny don't ever think we don't.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Pathetic!  You are one more enabler who is only too happy to excuse the turning of the 4/20 Rally to non-political ends.  If any one of you had any integrity, you would endorse encouraging 4/20 rallygoers to protest at the Capitol.  You all might just as well be working with the prohibitionists to make the Rally politically irrelevant.  No thinking person who reads this can tell me that the last chance for three years to confront the members of the General Assembly with a huge crowd demanding an end to Prohibition should be pissed away -- and that is exactly what is being done.

Ross Karr
Ross Karr

I agree. Keep it simple. Focus on a good time. Wish I could b there.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I guess you have shot your bolt when it comes to direct protest -- I can hardly blame you for that, but a little shouting at the General Assembly while coming together and celebrating at the Capitol would be fun too.  As for "exchange knowledge" -- how many 4/20 Rallies have you attended?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Don't read too well, do you?  No one who follows this blog believes that there is any love lost between me and national NORML.  Follow the link above, read my comment, and reflect on the stupidity of your post.

P.S. Don't you people know that dimbulb Russ labeled me "A Stoner against Legalization" (along with Kathleen, Laura, and Miguel)?

P.P.S. Kathleen just points out to me the post of some NORML-dupe named Arne (see: http://topnug.com/blog/tag/rob... claiming that I, on record as a supporter of Amendment 64, and, for months prior, of Initiative 30, "boasted openly about ... opposition to legalization efforts" with a link to NORML's lies. The NORML propaganda machine is so stupid that it cannot even register the fact that we both support this same political goal!

Wayward Bill
Wayward Bill

I am glad the He said, he said drama is over. Got Facebooked messaged by the Denver High Times Medical Cannabis Cup's lawyer over this and although I am Miguel's assistant for the Denver 4/20 Rally I had nothing to do with the miscommunication but people see us as bookends and when they can't get to Miguel they dump on me.

Dan
Dan

All good! See you soon...

Wayward Bill
Wayward Bill

My comment was for the whole and not just YOU, Robert. I would never let you lead me let alone follow you. And I am not in your way. I am me. Never asked to be a leader but here I am. I live by example.

Tmartinez303
Tmartinez303

And you just completely skipped around the fact that I said this is not the time and place for ur crazy ranting. It's obvious u have no support here so drop it.

Ross Karr
Ross Karr

Rob - Create your own rally. I told you that last year. You barely got anyone to walk with you last year during the 420 event. Accept this for what it is. Yes -the thousands of people could help the cause you propose.  Dont rant about it. DO IT. MAKE IT HAPPEN. DONT cry about it online.  I havent the foggiest idea about how to make that happen. Maybe ask Miguel how to do it. Hes obviously succesful in that.  Bill- to say you wont follow Robert is a low blow. He may not be a leader, and he may have rubbed me the wrong way, But he IS passionate and determined. I dont agree with his thoughts, but I like his passion.  He is NOT motivated by greed and that I can vouche for.

Jahnidenver
Jahnidenver

I SUPPORT MIGUEL LOPEZ AND THE 2012 420RALLY 100%!!!!!!!

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

Don't cry wittle robby.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Ross, you wax reasonable.  I am encouraging people to protest at the Capitol, but I deem it necessary to point out that the 4/20 Rally is not, and that the last chance for three years to get rallygoers involved in real political protest, at the Capitol where all the bad laws are made and of the people who are making them, while they are inside, is slipping away because people who use cannabis in Denver are letting Miguel get away with it.  I have spoken at several 4/20s, and I have attended since Miguel drew the first permit.  I did voter registration at that drive, but I have been militating for a move on the Capitol for some time now, and I am disgusted that inertia and self-interest have contrived to defeat it.  If Miguel wants to do the right thing, it is still possible, but doing so will be disruptive of the carefully orchestrated and marketed program he now plans to follow.

P.S.  I mostly wrote the press release.

P.P.S. What happened last year was a sop to me to get me out of Miguel's hair -- he does not want to or feels he cannot make the effort and modifications to the program for the Rally necessary to motivate people to invest the Capitol, but it can be done nonetheless. If it is not an afterthought or just my last minute interjection from the stage, we can get a lot more than seven people over there.

Rosskarr
Rosskarr

I had a great time last year....Robert- Last year you tried to rally folks to the capital. It barely proved fruitful. I was there, I hung out with you and everyone else. Remember the ridiculously large joints I blazed by myself and right on the stage next to you?? THATS WHAT ITS ABOUT...No offense but give it a rest. Just hang out, smoke out and enjoy it for what it is. A chance to smoke out with thousands of people. Yes i see your point. Its not about that. Maybe you should get involved and create a rally of your own to fight prohibition. Organize something like Miguel and dont profit from it.....For those making fun of Robert, grow up. I have my own gripes against him but dont be so childish...Perhaps all of you are writing from your own mothers basement?!  Im all for fighting the good fight. The United Snakes of America doesnt give a damn about protests. What has any OCCUPY MOVEMENT actually accomplished or changed?? I wish it would have done something. OUR APATHETIC SOCIETY SUCKS BIG TIME!!!!!  

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

 Its incredible that nobody likes you, nobody supports you yet you still want to be a part of the movement.

You are a detriment. A loser. And a crybaby.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

It's not about me at all (and as many times as you and others repeat the charge, Dr. Goebbels, it won't stick; not on the basis of anything written here).  As a narc I am sure that you do not want 10,000 kids shouting at the prohibitionists inside the Capitol, I just can't understand how anyone calling themselves an activist to end Prohibition doesn't.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

It's all about YOU isn't it Robert ??

Robert Chase = Egomaniacal Narcissist

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

It is incredible that supposed activists and others want to act as though I somehow threaten the smokeout, instead of addressing the issue.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

You have no clue how smart, or stupid I am. That is just another thing you pulled out of your ass. Which seems to be your best trick. That and crying. Always crying. Nonstop crying.

And I don't use cannabis. I quit months ago.

What you really do here is make anybody who reads your posts oppose you. You are a detriment to the cause. You are a cancer. And you are too stupid to realize it.

Nobody likes you. Nobody agrees with you.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I don't let the legions of people as stupid as you who use cannabis deter me from fighting Prohibition.  Plenty of people who agree with me do not make the effort to support my positions publicly -- that also is not my problem.  What I do here is mount cogent arguments against Prohibition and prohibitionists, and urge the few capable out of the ignorant, self-obsessed masses to join the fight.  In this exchange, you represent the inertia of our base, and the reason why the toll of Prohibition's victims grows ever larger.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

You realize the best thing you can do for the position you support is to shut up at this point right?

Nobody likes you. Nobody wants to listen to you. All you do is cry and make people roll their eyes.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You have a problem understanding time and/or reading.  I have advocated protest of the General Assembly while it is in session for years, in private and in public, and I have been thwarted in my effort to motivate the largest pro-cannabis crowds which ever assemble in Denver to do so by the chief organizer of the 4/20 Rally, Miguel Lopez, who derives most of his annual income from keeping the crowd focused on the non-political aspects of the Rally and in place inside Civic Center Park so that vendors feel they are getting something for their money.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

We all can get just as high on the Capitol grounds as two blocks away -- how is that a buzzkill, and why does it matter to you anyway?  Do you use cannabis?

Wayward Bill
Wayward Bill

Robert does have a passion. He also mistimes his requests. He waits until one month before the rally to bring this up once again like he did last year. The rally schedule is set 6 months prior. Miguel and I have tried to work with him.  All he did was piss Miguel off. They had a physical confrontation over this at the last Ken Gorman Memorial 420 Rally on the last Saturday in February. This is just a juvenile continuance of his triade. Good luck Robert I too watched you try to make people leave last year. Don't think this year will be any better.  You want advice about "truly" organizing such a protest feel free to ask me? However I feel that your forte is writing and you should stick just to that.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I believe that it is the political responsibility of the 4/20 Rally to protest Prohibition in the most effective way possible -- your solution is not even appropriate.  I will undertake that responsibility myself and encourage others to join me, but my proper role would be to help the 4/20 Rally get as many rallygoers to the Capitol as possible and organize the protest there.  Miguel has permits for both Lincoln Park and the West steps on 4/20, so it really does come down to how much attention he is willing to divert from the main stage and vendors towards real protest.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

No, I should not be placed in this position.  I have laid the case out in these posts.  You allude to the main reason you are supporting the Rally in its present, commercial format -- Miguel intends to make the political message of the Rally that people who use cannabis should vote against Amendment 64 (despite the fact that it legalizes the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants), and you are looking forward to inveighing against it yourself (despite the fact that there are few voters at the Rally).  There are plenty of objective cannabis-activists who are capable of understanding what I am writing about -- the idiotic waste of opportunity represented by the commercialization and navelization of the 4/20 Rally, but no one will stand up for it here besides me -- so be it!  I like to think that Ken Gorman is smiling on me.  While Miguel and you rant about SAFER and Soros, I will be protesting the authors of misery and destruction in the Capitol.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Yeah I should be reminded about direct protest buy Robert Chase. It would not be NORML for Robert to do anything but challenging authority he is the most effective activist in the state.  Yes, it's a good idea to surround the capitol but it's even better of an idea to take over the park and broadcast our information.  But I look forward to you explaining why I'm wrong and how your are , right now, working on a better plan.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Why?  Can't you read?

This 4/20, visit the Rally, but come to the Capitol to protest too.

MrEFQ
MrEFQ

Oh look, the wittle baby is crying more.

Poor wittle Robby.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I won't.  Is that all you can manage?  How are you on reading?

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