Photos: Denver 4/20 Rally schedule announced amid pot shots at Amendment 64
Today, Miguel Lopez, the organizer of Denver's annual 4/20 rally at Civic Center Park, released the schedule for this year's two-day event, taking place on (duh) April 20 and 21. But in addition to a breakdown of happenings on each day, he also shares his often-negative thoughts about Amendment 64's passage, as well as his views about continuing the fight for full cannabis legalization. Details and photos from last year's gathering below.
Big photos below.
At the outset of his essay, on view in its entirety, Lopez details what he sees as A64's weaknesses.
"Amendment 64 did not remove criminal penalties, nor did it make any concessions to those that are currently in jail for non-violent marijuana offenses, while ignoring the 18-21 year old community, continuing limits unlike the regulation of alcohol," he writes. "Those people are still in jail, and they will still face a hard time finding a job, resorting to dealing with the black markets for survival. This includes public consumption."
Lopez concedes that A64 proponents and opponents alike "understand that this is a step towards legalization." However, he views the measure as "only a legislative act to create an economy and not to end a war that has destroyed thousands of lives.... In fact, it still perpetuates it. It set forth guidelines for future regulations, establishing a strong bias for those who have the means to open respected marijuana businesses while also maintaining criminal penalties for those in possession of over an ounce. Talk about dangling a carrot. It has launched a green rush, but at the same time, it has made enough restrictions so that poorer and marginalized members of society still face the same problems as [they] did before and still risk going to prison and losing their basic freedoms.
"In other words, Coloradans, those of you who do not have money to join expensive local lobbies and attend fundraisers with other wealthy residents who have political connections, or have access to large amounts of cash, have been left out. Your voice was not heard and your community is not being represented. You, or someone you know, is suffering from having a marijuana charge on their record, on probation, or in jail. You and almost everyone you know, has been left out of a conversation."
The Civic Center happening is very different, he maintains. In his words, "The Denver 420 Rally is committed to getting the greed out of weed. We are also committed to getting our voices heard and are committed to ensuring that all of our rights, our human rights, are being considered. We will fight to make sure that members of communities most affected by the war on marijuana are included in the local and national debate and have their rights and freedoms restored. We are committed to supporting the growth of small local business and minority owned businesses while developing confidence and educating the large marijuana community on how to be active members of their community through continued contributions and peaceful political actions."
Of course, the event will feature a lot more than demonstrations and speech-making. In addition to addresses by the likes of attorney Rob Corry and activist Rico Colibri, there'll also be musical performances (most of the TBA at this point), awards presentations and a certain group activity slated to start at about twenty minutes after four in the afternoon.
Look below to see photos by Brandon Marshall of last year's Denver 4/20 rally, followed by the Lopez release.