Critics of 4/20 gatherings tend to dismiss them as pot-infused parties rather than political events -- but the annual Denver 4/20 Rally, scheduled to take place at Civic Center Park on both April 20 and 21, suggests that this theory is too one-dimensional.
In his latest release, organizer Miguel Lopez precedes entertainment-laden schedule info (see it below) with a slew of attacks aimed at recommendations of the Amendment 64 task force expected to be incorporated into legislation that will create and regulate a recreational marijuana retail industry.
As this post about the Denver 4/20 Rally in 2011 proves, a mix of seriousness and sensimilla is nothing new for the sprawling spectacle.
But this year, Lopez's views are focused on advice from the A64 Task Force that he finds objectionable. Here, for instance, is his take on suggestions that businesses be required to limit the amount of cannabis bought during a single transaction below the one-ounce level mentioned in the legislation. He writes:
Restricting marijuana purchases to only an eighth at a time is a direct violation of the will of voters. Considering that the Amendment currently allows for up to an ounce, this is in direct violation of the will of the voters. In fact, it is probably the most in violation of the will of the voters, followed by allowing localities to determine whether marijuana can be sold or not.
He also has a problem with the idea that communities and municipalities will be able to opt out of retail operations. His view on this topic:
Local and state approval for marijuana retailers allows local leaders to circumvent the popular vote and blatantly undermines the will of the voters. Amendment 64 was voted on by all of Colorado and allowing localities to determine whether they want to allow marijuana or not only by passes voter will, it could also continue to foster a black market, especially in rural areas where people will have to drive for miles, spending extra money on gas. Instead, it will be easier to go to local black market dealers. It is also short sighted on behalf of local governments because it robs cities and counties of revenue. It is shortsighted and also stifles innovation. Localities are missing out on opportunities for growth in revenue from new businesses and tourism over an irrational fear of a substance deemed less harmful than alcohol, yet these localities permit the sale of alcohol and cancer causing cigarettes.
Likewise, Lopez thinks letting businesses restrict pot smoking by workers even when they're not on the clock is beyond the pale. His opinion?
This seems almost as violating to civil liberties as the PATRIOT Act and seriously violates personal freedom and the will of voters. It especially violates right to work in that it discriminates against medical marijuana patients, the very people who the marijuana laws were created in the first. This puts more power in the hands of corporations to discriminate against people and hold them at the mercy of employers. It is very aggressive way of showing voters that businesses are not friendly to personal marijuana use, even if it is on personal time. This is an outrage! Furthermore, since over 50 percent of the state voted for medical marijuana, it stands to reason that employers could be hurting themselves by losing good talent and the expense of individual freedom on one's personal time. Maybe this is what Gov. Hickenlooper was referring to about homeless teenagers. Last, but not least, this is yet another stripping of innovation that could lead to economic growth.
There's more, much more, in the complete release, which we've included below, after a photo gallery of rally highlights circa 2010 as shared on the Denver 420 Facebook page by Bob Weedman. We've also pulled out the schedule for easy reference. Check it all out below. Continue for more Denver 4/20 rally photos, plus the complete release and schedule for this year's event. Continue for more Denver 4/20 rally photos, plus the complete release and schedule for this year's event. Continue for more Denver 4/20 rally photos, plus the complete release and schedule for this year's event. Continue for more Denver 4/20 rally photos, plus the complete release and schedule for this year's event.
Denver 4/20 Rally 2013 schedule:
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana retailers may not have to grow their own -- and that's great, attorney says."