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Marijuana: City expects 4/20 rally organizers to discourage pot smoking at festival

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Photos and more below.
The literal high point of the annual Denver 4/20 rally at Civic Center Park comes at 4:20 p.m., when attendees light up simultaneously. But could this ritual be absent from the 2014 edition of festival? A few weeks back, rally attorney Rob Corry answered this question with a letter to Denver city officials that defiantly asserted attendees' right to smoke pot at the park. Then he retracted the document. And now, in an exchange with Denver City Attorney D. Scott Martinez, he back-pedals further -- although perhaps not as far as Martinez seems to think he has.

As we've reported, the original letter, shared here along with several other documents, asserts that Civic Center Park is the rally's home -- and since adults 21 and over in Colorado can legally smoke pot at home, they should be able to do so at the rally, too, despite a state law forbidding public consumption of cannabis.

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Rob Corry at an anti-marijuana taxation rally last year.
An excerpt reads: "As the permit holder for Civic Center Park on April 19-20, 2014, and consequently the entity that 'occupies or controls' this property, my clients and I respectfully advise the City and County of Denver that we will be 'otherwise regulating' the 'possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana' by permitting the 'possession,' 'consumption,' 'use,' 'display,' 'transfer,' 'distribution,' and 'transportation' of marijuana by adults age 21+, and by 'prohibiting' the 'sale' and 'growing' of marijuana in the permitted area of Civic Center Park on April 19-20, 2014 during the permitted periods for the Annual 420 Rally."

The letter didn't thrill city councilman Charlie Brown, who suggested that the city respond to the letter by denying a festival permit to rally organizers, even if it means picking a legal fight.

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Councilman Charlie Brown at a recent hearing on marijuana banking.
Brown's response was presumably a factor in Corry's decision to rescind the original letter. In a second missive, also shared here, he wrote: "We sincerely apologize if the misinterpretation of our previous letter caused any confusion. Our intent was to clarify, not confuse. Our letter, though inartfully drafted, was a reaction to provocative statements about an alleged Police crackdown this year at 420. We realize now that we should not have taken that bait, and instead should have conducted ourselves on a higher plane."

What followed was an exchange of correspondence between Corry and City Attorney Martinez; it's also reproduced below. In it, Martinez asks a couple of key questions, with the first of them reading: "You stated in your February 20 letter that persons could attend the event and publicly consume marijuana with impunity under the auspices of the permit. Do you no longer maintain this legal position?"

Corry's response? "Yes. As previously noted, we withdrew and rescinded in its entirety our previous letter that allegedly maintained this position, although the letter was misinterpreted and misconstrued. The Rally organizers will not be encouraging anyone to violate the law. Instead, we will make sure that all attendees are made aware that current law prohibits the consumption of marijuana in public."

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Denver City Attorney D. Scott Martinez.
The second Martinez question: "Can you assure us at this point that the organizers will explicitly foreswear any promotion of any unlawful activity at the 2014 event and will widely distribute information that the public consumption of marijuana at the festival is unlawful?"

In this case, Corry's reply is more nuanced. He essentially pledges not to promote illegal activity and to distribute information to those who go to the festival informing them that public smoking is against the law. But if that appears to give him and main rally organizer Miguel Lopez some additional wiggle room should revelers decide to blaze anyhow, Martinez attempts to reduce it through interpretation.

"Furthermore," writes Martinez in a March 7 letter in our document collection below, "you now deny that the event organizers will permit or promote the unlawful consumption at the proposed 4/20 event. On the contrary, you agree that the event organizers will affirmatively discourage the consumption of marijuana at the 4/20 event."

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Miguel Lopez, organizer of the 4/20 rally, at a free-joint giveaway in Civic Center Park last year.
There's quite a distance between agreeing not to promote illegal public smoking and affirmatively discouraging such consumption -- but a face-to-face chat between Corry and Martinez to bridge the gap won't be happening. Corry specifically asks for a sit-down in his March 5 note, but Martinez maintains that "such a meeting would serve no useful purpose at this point as I consider the legal issues regarding this matter to be closed."

That's cold -- but does it portend tension and a possible crackdown on April 20? We'll find out in a little more than a month.

Continue to read three letters from Rob Corry and one from Denver City Attorney D. Scott Martinez.



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55 comments
Steve Potts
Steve Potts

It'll be interesting since 4/20 falls on Easter!

Esther Gonzalez
Esther Gonzalez

Rally or not this even is super fun. I would love to just gather and celebrate. Yey weed! Now get that stick out of your ass.

Sonly Pere
Sonly Pere

Its easier if ask to stop breathing !! ;)

Aaron Harmon
Aaron Harmon

Things like these are just an embarrassment to real stoners. Stop it.

Matt Corry
Matt Corry

Do you think bartenders discourage people from drinking?

Dominick Black
Dominick Black

"Discourage" pot smoking at the national pot smoking festival???? This is about the right to smoke pot! Get it????? GET A FUCKING CLUE!

Frank Molina
Frank Molina

NEWS FLASH: POT IS LEGAL...The whole point of this festival was to make pot legal. It now serves no purpose except to insight more anger AGAINST pot. It's having a cake and eating it too. GIVE IT UP...The Pot battle was won. This is like going to war after a treaty has been signed...IDIOTS!

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

Much work to be done, but these particular individuals may not be the best flag bearers.

Hayley Richardson
Hayley Richardson

Now that it's legal how is this rally any different than a beer festival? It should become a city event and be regulated like any other major gathering at the park. The city will make money and it will be safer.

Sean Valdez
Sean Valdez

Well if that is the case maybe we should tell people at he taste of CO to not eat. It is suppose to be fun let people smoke since it will be gated up the local authorities will not be able to pay someone to shooot up 420 did you they ever catch the person NO! They did not because they paid him to do it. LAST YEAR was fucking awesome up until the shooting perfect day until that happened.

Rhiana Tartaglio
Rhiana Tartaglio

The rally was started as a protest to legalize--- it's legalized. Why not put the time, energy & numbers towards a different cause?!

Mallory French
Mallory French

I took a walk through Civic Center Park last year. Just in time for the shooting. That event really brings the crazies out of the woodworks. I'll pass. I don't really see how this is helping other states rally to legalize marijuana. The tax revenue generated speaks for itself.

Pam Stiffler
Pam Stiffler

I was on the Green Team the past 2 years, but I'm gonna skip the drama this year & hang in a friendly venue where people won't be actin' a fool just cuz they can. Rights come with responsibilities

Jordan Snyder
Jordan Snyder

Just because it's legalized doesn't mean the stigma went away overnight. This is still important.

Mimisaurus Rex
Mimisaurus Rex

Lmfao it shouldnt even be happenening. It got legalized. No reason to have a rally anymore. Lol

Carol Rushton
Carol Rushton

Doubt it. The vendors are going to have a hay day at this historic event. I'm going; why not? History! Of course I will post amateur photos, as usual.

Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly

Nobody will listen. This the smokers country here!

Dustin Nelson
Dustin Nelson

It'll be be mentioned several times, and ignored.

MakesSense
MakesSense

1. Colorado legalizes marijuana 

2. Directly following legalization, the Governor allots himself and his cronies piles of money to prosecute people for engaging in a now legal activity

3. Makes sense

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

NewsFlash -- No, it isn't. A64 did NOT legalize marijuana, not even close. The authors of that turd admitted as much during legislative testimony.



@Frank Molina "The Pot battle was won."  


... like Charlie Sheen is "winning"!


@Frank Molina "This is like going to war after a treaty has been signed...IDIOTS!"


The clueless stoners surrendered TOTAL CONTROL of marijuana over to the Prohibitionist Politicians and the insatiable Dept. of Revenue. IDIOTS indeed!




kadargo
kadargo

I agree. People fight, shoot, and kill each other at bars and I don't see the bars  closing.  I don't even hear anyone suggesting that.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

1) it ain't legal


2) A64 explicitly declared that Public Use / Consumption are NOT LEGAL.


Were you too stupid, or too lazy, to read that piece of shit before you voted for it?


tony514
tony514

I agree, plus nobody who is there is going to not smoke up

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mallory French "That event really brings the crazies out of the woodworks. "


Embrace the "stoner culture"



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Pam Stiffler "Rights come with responsibilities"


Puerile Pot Punks are as Puerile Pot Punks do!


No surprise that marijuana REMAINS ILLEGAL after all these years.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... the only thing "historic" is the depth of your ignorance.


tony514
tony514

@MakesSense gotta vote them guys out of office they are like polar bears in africa make no sense!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@MakesSense  


1) Lying liars like Brian Vicente and mendacious Mason Tvert concoct a BULLSHIT fake "legalization" initiative that is a CONTINUATION of CRIMINAL Prohibition against marijuana, with massive regulations and huge taxes added for fun, including explicit prohibitions against PUBLIC use.


2) Brain-dead Bong-sucking Stoners are pig-ignorant enough to vote for it.


3) Clueless whining weasels like you bitch about the VERY REGULATIONS and RESTRICTIONS YOU VOTED FOR!!

George
George

@DonkeyHotayThe biggest dis-service that NORML, DPA, Sensible Colorado, MPP, LEAP, ASA, SSDP and Corporate Media have done is to convince people into believing that it all cannabis is now "legal" for everyone in Colorado, that the war is over, and that there is no longer any need to fight, or to fire up joints on the Capitol steps, or to call your Congresspeople. This attitude that so many in Colorado have that "we have won so what's the point of fighting anymore?" is going to be so hard to change.You have won if you are happy with 1 ounce and 3 flowering plants, but what about all the people with 2 ounces and 4 flowering plants? What about THC/DUI arrests with no basis in reality? Why are you so willing to forget about these people now that you've got your one ounce and 3 flowering plants? The fight for real legalization will continue until there are ZERO pot crimes and ZERO pot criminals. As long as you can get busted for smoking a joint on 4/20 in Civic Center Park, we should continue to protest by smoking that joint on 4/20 in Civic Center Park.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@kadargo  ... but stoners claim that pot makes everyone all peaceful and mellow.


Keep comparing it to alcohol and see what you get, moron.




George
George

@DonkeyHotay Lied to by SAFER and Sensible, who claimed that they "Legalized It" and "Ended Prohibition". These lies were regurgitated by WW and other corporate media.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tony514 <== still illiterate


Have another bong hit, stoner.


ImNotSmart
ImNotSmart

@DonkeyHotay @kadargoWho said the shooters were 'stoners'? They looked like a bunch of scum-bag gang-bangers to me. They occupy the park 365 days a year. Get a clue.

George
George

@DonkeyHotay @kadargo10,000 years of constant human testing, and no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose. It's the "safest therapeutically active substance known to man," according to DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis Young.

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