Ask a Stoner: Colorado's Connection to 4/20

Ask a Stoner: Colorado's Connection to 4/20
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Dear Stoner: Why is Colorado such a heavy 4/20 spot? It's not like weed isn't popular or available in bigger cities.

Dear Brodie: Even before Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, 4/20 was a big event here. The late cannabis activist Ken Gorman regularly staged political events and smoke sessions around the State Capitol and the Denver City and County Building on April 20, a tradition that fellow cannabis activists continued in his honor after he was killed in 2007 (the murder remains unsolved), creating the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park. Although that morphed into the HiFly 420 Festival under different organizers, the 4/20 celebration at Civic Center remained one of the larger stoner events around the country on April 20.

Visitors to Civic Center Park on April 20, 2019, enjoy the Fly Hi 420 FestivalEXPAND
Visitors to Civic Center Park on April 20, 2019, enjoy the Fly Hi 420 Festival
Jacqueline Collins

Colorado being the first weed adopter and having so many dispensaries in popular tourist cities such as Denver, Aspen, Telluride, Durango, Breckenridge and Boulder — where public 4/20 smoke-outs at the University of Colorado in the early 2000s also raised this state’s pot profile — have helped create a growing pot tourism industry in Colorado, which drives visitors here every year for 4/20. That won't be the case this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, at least not officially, but let's hope we're back and blazed next year.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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