A photo of the McNichols Building from the venue's Facebook page.
A photo of the McNichols Building from the venue's Facebook page.

No pot in Civic Center Park at 4/20 rally -- but you can raise a glass in McNichols

The city wants to make sure that no one lights up at Civic Center Park this weekend, but you will be able to drink -- as long as you're in the McNichols Building. As our Latest Word blog reported yesterday, Miguel Lopez, organizer of the 4/20 rally, submitted a special-permit liquor-sale request to Denver Arts & Venues, the city department that oversees the McNichols Building. And yes, he recognizes the irony. See also: Pot luck -- a marijuana cooking class with Scott Durrah

In fact, he says the application for the 4/20 event stated that its purpose was in part to "protest federal prohibition and public-consumption laws."

But while any organization holding an event in McNichols can apply for a liquor-sales permit, even if the permit is granted there is a catch: The drinks can't leave the building. "People can't just get it and go outside. It's in a controlled area," Lopez notes.

You can't light up inside McNichols, either -- there's no smoking of any kind allowed in public buildings, and consuming cannabis in public -- inside or out -- is specifically prohibited by Amendment 64.

That's certain to be discussed by some of the public speakers at this weekend's event. As Lopez points out, "the 4/20 rally opposed Amendment 64 knowing that the [no-public-smoking] regulations would be a problem not just for the rally, but for everybody in general."

Want to drink to that? Head to McNichols this weekend.


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