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

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.