Denver on 4/20 weekend: 130 arrests or citations, 22 jailed

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
A photo from our 2014 People of the Cannabis Cup slide show.
Update below: Last week, Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson told us that officers would have a greater presence at the annual 4/20 event at Civic Center Park due both to the still-unsolved shooting that took place at last year's rally and laws against public consumption of marijuana. However, he pledged that officers would act with "discretion" during enforcement actions.

How'd they do? Well, social media hasn't exploded with anger at the cops despite what appears to be a larger number of arrests and citations than in recent years: 130 over the course of the weekend. More details below.

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
A photo from the 4/20 rally in 2013 shortly after the still-unsolved shooting.
Those observers who thought the 2013 shooting would keep people away from the Civic Center festivities this year were wrong. The crowds were healthy on Saturday, and our William Breathes describes the Sunday throng as the biggest he's seen at the annual gathering; keep an eye out for his full report.

Despite warnings against public consumption, marijuana smoking was commonplace at the park, giving the DPD plenty of chances to issue citations. The cops certainly kept a close eye on what was happening, as is seen in this twitpic:

Meanwhile, the department's social media folks regularly shared arrest figures. This tweet covers the figures for Saturday....

...while this one encompasses those on Sunday....

...and a third tweet provides a weekend total:

The figures appear to be considerably larger than they were in 2012, as momentum for legalization was building, and 2013, after Amendment 64 had been approved by voters -- although the crowds were bigger, too. We've reached out to the Denver police records office for previous arrest and citation totals; we'll update this post when and if the folks there get back to us.

Update: A short time ago, Mary Dulacki with the Denver Police Department records department sent us the following e-mail in response to our inquiry: "There were 5 'arrests' (individuals were actually issued citations and released) during the 2013 4/20 Rally. Four of the citations were issued for Public Consumption of Marijuana. The remaining individual was cited for traffic violations of Driving Under Revocation, No Operator's License and Expired Plates."

Denver police personnel are currently looking for 2012 statistics. If they get the data to us, we'll update this post again.

Via Twitter, however, the DPD suggests that these numbers are actually quite low in the context of the event as a whole:

There was also this exchange, in which the department's rep made it clear that it's a loving agency, albeit one whose affection is conditional:

Meanwhile, the only YouTube video of police at Civic Center over the weekend that we've found thus far is this benign snippet of several cops lined up on bicycles:

By the way, the fine for the public consumption of marijuana is $150. Multiply that by 130 and the results won't come close to covering the cost of the police presence at the park. Then again, none of the arrests were for shooting anyone.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Top twenty Denver on 4/20 in 2014 tweets."

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152 comments
Dylan Steiner
Dylan Steiner

I sat on my porch and smoked and watched them drive by as I toked lol. Beautiful feeling

Brenda Lott
Brenda Lott

Sounds like a good way for the city to pick up a few extra bucks is what it sounds like. Harassment - pay your ticket and move on. No different than a speed trap, eh?

Samantha Emerson
Samantha Emerson

How many do we usually have during Great American beer Fest?

SteroidsMakeUDumb
SteroidsMakeUDumb

2013 saw 5 citations when pot was illegal and now that it's legal, they arrested 130? Not only is this excessive but it shows how 'butt-hurt' these out of control cops are about losing all that revenue from pot being illegal. These losers need to start 'protecting' the public and quit obsessing about generating revenue for 'themselves'..They don't have many friends left aside from a small group of mentally ill voters......And the pedophile crowd over at SMART COLORADO..

Allan Cass
Allan Cass

I thought the cops were pretty chill.

Sher Quintana
Sher Quintana

I'm not against smoking Shane..but there are always those idiots that push the limits..I deal with them everyday at my job..so if the shoe fits Shane..wear it!

Daniel J. King IV
Daniel J. King IV

Wowwww Man, we gotta Get Stoned for the TV Cameras & Waste TONS of $$$ BEING Exhibitionists because we're #Stoners who NEED to 'Get a Life' - but we can't because we're too caught up in Narcissism !!!

Rob Jenkins
Rob Jenkins

Given that marijuana consumption is illegal in public, could've been a lot worse

John Schilling
John Schilling

They probably deserved it. As in any mass celebration there are rules, and if you go you agree to those rules. They seemed like brainless spoiled brats.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Frankly, I'm surprised they didn't tale as many people leaving the event in cars as they could. My bet is it would be easy picking for DUI court.

Todd Andres
Todd Andres

Bec! your right, but that is all our cowardly cops can do, is ticket pot smokers,,Can they get a bad guy?? NO way those fat out of shape bullies, but boy can they write a ticket. I just would love it if a cop was NOT a coward and a bully.

Paul Malczewski
Paul Malczewski

I say excessive Becca Doyle becouse I dont beleive it should be illegal in any way. Still a good showing seeing as how many people were there. Clearly a success.

Ron E. Edens
Ron E. Edens

This # reflects those idiots out of 100.000 + ! ! ! Go figure!!!

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

"a larger number of arrests and citations than in recent years" ... only 5 citations were issued last year.  As predicted, no reduction in marijuana related violations as a result of A64 and in this instance we are actually seeing a big increase in violations.  Stupid laws yield stupid results...if you voted for A64 you voted for this!!!!

Bret Kantola
Bret Kantola

Unjust laws are meant to be broken Becca Doyle. DPD had the discretion to serve and protect or ticket and belittle. They took the low road.

Joshua Isaiah Gelo
Joshua Isaiah Gelo

If they were fighting or causing a ruckus then absolutely, but if it was cause they were smoking weed then hell yes!!!! Way excessive. But like I always say, FUCK THEM POLICE!!!!

Kathy Wedzik
Kathy Wedzik

Just because you do not declare it or engage in the 420 holiday does not mean it does not exist or should not be respected . . Freedom of religion freedom of speech do you kind of get it yet. . Maybe you dont cause you are too Draconian

Kathy Wedzik
Kathy Wedzik

Freedom to smoke is like freedom to post what you want on face book . . 420 is a national freedom to smoke day . . Are you feeling confused. Do you know what country you live in smh . . Puff puff puff

Becca Doyle
Becca Doyle

What the fuck is a "freedom to smoke day"? Did you declare that or did the government? Come on.

Becca Doyle
Becca Doyle

And yet, with all the shit you talk, the majority of those officers would die in the line of duty to save you. Have a bit more respect.

Becca Doyle
Becca Doyle

*Excessive. I believe citations are a necessary part of our law enforcement system. Without citations, people would just go straight to jail, first of all. People need motivation to follow the laws; that motivation is NOT getting a citation. Without enforcement we would be living in an apocalyptic anarchy.

Becca Doyle
Becca Doyle

Why did you vote for the law if you don't like it? It is illegal to use in public. I'm assuming you read the amendment in its entirety before you voted for it, did you not? How are you going to be upset that they are enforcing a law that you gave them permission to enforce?

JustMyWords
JustMyWords

@SteroidsMakeUDumb  Funny thing, I didn't see a single 'out of control' cop while I was there. (The majority of cops I know - and I know a lot - are far from butt-hurt or worried about lost revenue. They'd rather not have to waste time dealing with it, quite frankly. And since cops don't actually see a dime of money collected in fines, they seldom waste their time worrying about whether or not they're generating revenue.)


The cops I saw and talked to were actually taking a very sensible approach: adults that were discreet about their use and well-behaved were generally ignored (I saw a lot of people vaping publicly with no hassles), people that appeared to be under-age or were being obnoxious were reminded that public use is illegal and warned. I didn't see anyone actually cited or arrested, which actually isn't surprising. 130 arrests/citations is an incredibly small percentage of the people there.

JustMyWords
JustMyWords

I'm not sure if we know that there were no alcohol related arrests, but I can think of at least one reason why there might not have been any - I didn't see alcohol being sold or served anywhere, and as far as I know, you weren't allowed to bring it in the park.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@GuestWho  


130 fools and tools who will now carry CRIMINAL DRUG CONVICTIONS on their records for the rest of their pathetic lives.


Thanks lyin' Brian Vicente, mendacious Mason Tvert and bullshit Betty Aldworth !!




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... so A64 is unjust, eh numbnuts?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

That's a good one, honey. The "anarchists" smoking pot are just out their created death and destruction while those legal beer drinkers are practically building a brave new world, right, sweetie? Keep sucking on what the state is serving. You're obviously a devoted serf.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Who says I voted for it? If what you say is true, then it should matter that I did not give them permission to enforce it. Oh, yeah…that doesn't fit into your pristine view of the world, now does it, honey?

SteroidsMakeUDumb
SteroidsMakeUDumb

@JustMyWords @SteroidsMakeUDumbYou are a moron. If the cps weren't worried about generating revenue, then they wouldn't be doing it. And your statement about cops not seeing a dime of the money is false. These departments have budgets and these budgets rely on numbers. If you believe the Drug War has nothing to do with money, I don't think you are able to be educated at this point in history. Carry on, groupie.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Democracy is two wolves and a lamb settling on dinner. It should never be confused for justice. In short, the system worked as designed, and the people who wanted to tax and regulate the shit out of people won.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  "The "anarchists" smoking pot are just out their [sic] created [sic] death and destruction"


HipTip: sober up before you spew online.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  No, it was a typo. I type phonetically. There isn't anything wrong with my grammar. When I see that I've typed it incorrectly, I change it. go ahead and make up whatever story you want though, because you generally do.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident   ... once again, the first error is a cognitive failure to choose the correct homophone, the second you failed to properly conjugate the proper verb tense.


Neither of which are physical typos, they are mental defects.


hth.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident  Wow, you found two typos in one post…congratulations on your newly found usefulness.

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