4/20 Rally on 5/21 at Civic Center Park: Cops Give Just 18 Tickets to 50,000-Plus

Last week, Santino Walter, co-producer of this year's 4/20 Rally at Civic Center Park, predicted that the event, which had been rescheduled for May 21 after the original bash was postponed due to a snowstorm, would be a big success despite taking place more than a month later than planned.

And he appears to have been right.

Some observers predicted that more than 100,000 people would flood into the park on Saturday to see headliners Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa — and indeed (update), a press release from organizers issued today maintains that this number of people were on hand over the course of the day. But other estimates we've seen put the crowd size at closer to 50,000, likely due to competition from some of the other big gatherings that took place that day, including Project Pabst on Larimer Street in RiNo.

But one lower-than-expected number — citations for public-pot consumption — definitely didn't generate complaints.

The Denver Police Department reportedly issued just eighteen tickets for this offense — less than a third of the 64 handed out on April 20, even though far more people were in attendance on Saturday. We bet the total is around the number of alcohol-related tickets routinely handed out at concerts in stadiums or amphitheaters — if not lower.

Why did the DPD show such restraint? That calls for speculation — but there's no question that in recent years, enforcement has gotten stricter on or around April 20. During the rest of the year, as one knowledgeable source recently told us, officers generally reserve public-pot-use tickets for folks who flaunt consumption, as opposed to those who take a stealthier approach.

Not able to attend? Check out several videos below to find out what you missed.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts