420 Rally Organizers' Appeal Denied, Permitting for Event to Change Hands in 2018

The 420 Rally will change hands in 2018.
The 420 Rally will change hands in 2018. Brandon Marshall
Organizers of the annual 420 Rally in Civic Center Park heard today, November 17, that their appeal of the violations cited by the Denver Denver of Parks and Recreation after this year's event was denied. That means that permitting in the park for April 20, 2018, is available on a first-come, first-served basis....and that the traditional organizers need not apply.

"After a thorough review of [this year's 420] event, substantial violations of city requirements were found, including health standards, trash management, public safety and security," Parks and Rec wrote in a statement announcing the decision. "DPR imposed a monetary penalty in the amount of $11,965, plus an additional $190 in damages, banned the event organizer from being granted any event permit for three years, and rescinded their Priority Event status."

Employees of Euflora dispensary have been sitting outside the Parks and Rec building since late last month, anticipating that the permit would be available after Parks and Rec decided the fate of 420 organizers Miguel Lopez and Santino Walter. Lopez and Walter had enjoyed "priority status" for permits before the city levied the three-year ban in May, prohibiting them from applying because of issues with this year's rally, including trash management and noise, public safety and security violations.

"We are pleased with today's decision by Judge David Ramirez affirming our earlier assessment of the significant health, safety and security concerns surrounding the event," said Happy Haynes, executive director of Parks and Recreation, in a statement. "Our parks and open spaces are meant for everyone to enjoy responsibly, and we are committed to upholding permittee compliance with our policies to protect the city’s resources and ensure public events are safe for attendees and everyone else impacted by them."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ana Campbell has been Westword's managing editor since 2016. She has worked at magazines and newspapers around the country, picking up a few awards along the way for her writing and editing. She grew up in south Texas.
Contact: Ana Campbell