Reader: There's More to Remember Than Marijuana on 4/20
Jacqueline Collins

Reader: There's More to Remember Than Marijuana on 4/20

Thousands of cannabis enthusiasts gathered in Civic Center Park on April 20, 2018. The 4/20 gathering is an annual rite of spring in Denver, although this one had new organizers and a new name. Despite the crowds, the Mile High 420 Festival stayed chill. Very chill, given the freezing rain that doused everyone right at 4:20, as shown here. Says Nikki: 

 I'm literally cold just watching this. Shout out to ATL boy Lil Jon for braving it.

Notes Joy: 

The day was cold, but the spirit was heart-warming! Colorado continues to lead the way in cannabis.

Citing complaints about last year's event, Al says:

You're complaining about rain? Fuck nature/your planning!!
You're gonna complain about lines? Don't get there late!!
You're gonna complain about a countdown? Figure that shit out yourself!!
You're gonna complain about cops? Don't be a dumbass!!!!!

Adds Taylor: 

Do the entire city a favor and have this somewhere other than the heart of the city. I'm a supporter of 4/20 and all of its fun times to be had, but feeling like you are driving in Manhattan because people need to get stoned in the Golden Triangle is a joke. Move it somewhere that isn't the busiest part of the city.

And then there's this sobering response from Randy: 

It's a cool celebration, I guess, but can we get a moment for those who died at the Columbine massacre and the Colorado coal mine massacre? 

Keep reading for our coverage of various events that have occurred on April 20.

Reader: There's More to Remember Than Marijuana on 4/20EXPAND
Kenzie Bruce

"The Mile High 420 Festival Lights Up Civic Center Park"

Reader: There's More to Remember Than Marijuana on 4/20
CBS via YouTube

"Columbine Shooting Legacy Lives on Post Parkland With Safe2Tell"

Reader: There's More to Remember Than Marijuana on 4/20
Westword

"Long Buried in Myth and Neglect, the Story of Colorado's Deadly Coal War Is Worth Remembering"

Long before 4/20 emerged as a national phenomenon, April 20 was a dark day in Colorado history: the day of the Ludlow Massacre. On April 20 1914, a shootout between striking coal miners and members of the Colorado National Guard claimed nineteen lives — most of them non-combatant women and children — and ended in the tent colony of Ludlow, just outside Trinidad, being burned to the ground.

Then on April 20, 1999, two students walked into Columbine High school armed with guns and bombs. In a matter of minutes, they killed thirteen people, then killed themselves. Today, the very word "Columbine" has tragic connotations around the world.

In contrast with those two tragedies — both rightly labeled "massacres" — the annual 4/20 gathering in Civic Center Park is a lighthearted celebration. But it got its start as a serious political protest, pushing for the legalization of marijuana. And Colorado voters ultimately obliged, passing Amendment 64 in 2012.

What do you think of the annual 4/20 gathering? Next year will mark the twentieth anniversary of Columbine. How should Colorado mark that day? Post your thoughts in a comment, or email marijuana@westword.com.

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