Dear Stoner: I want to celebrate Denver’s biggest unofficial holiday on 4/20. Do you have any advice?
Dear Ganja: Our day of gathering is upon us, but 4/20 in Denver has become much more than a simple day of heavy blazing now that Colorado’s economy has gone green. While many of us will be enjoying a blunt bigger than Dikembe Mutombo’s fingers, it’s important to see through the dabs and kush smoke to celebrate responsibility and not forget what it took to get here — and how far we still have to go.
Still, with so many concerts, conferences and rallies going on all week, I’ve created a 4/20 travel guide to help the planning impaired before the real impairment kicks in:
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You probably know about the annual Official 4/20 Rally at Civic Center Park, which is free to attend and has featured some serious headliners in past years. Event organizers weren’t able to secure an event permit on April 20 this time, but at least the April 16 date is a Saturday, making it a great start for the holiday weekend. Headliners of the rally’s concert are Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa, who occasionally mention their love for the plant in their lyrics. Also kicking off early is the Denver 4/20 Fest, a three-day expo running April 15-17 at the Glitter Dome Event Center, with concerts by Lil Flip, DJ and comedian sets, and pot-friendly shuttles to and from the event — and anyone with a valid industry badge gets in for free!
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Once 4/20 finally rolls around on Wednesday, show support as a cannabis user by attending the Capitol Hill Cannabis Activists Assembly, also at Civic Center Park, at 2 p.m. (note that the venue and time have changed from the planned 10 a.m. at the State Capitol Building). While spliffs are passed around, activists will be loudly voicing their concerns about proposed limits on THC in retail products, social-consumption bans and reduced plant counts. If you’re more interested in learning the law than in lighting up, attend the University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s marijuana summit at noon. After fighting for your rights, head to the Colorado Cup, a contest at Rigs 4 Us. Colorado growers, caregivers and dispensaries can submit flower and hash for judging from 2 to 11 p.m. on 4/20. Admission is free, and attendees (21+ only) get a free dab. It’s $40 to enter your weed, $35 to judge.
Remember, just because you love to smoke pot doesn’t mean everyone else has to. Respect that by not being the asshole who blows smoke in every pedestrian’s face just because it’s 4/20. Denver police can’t arrest everyone, but they still handed out more than 200 citations for public consumption last year.