Marijuana Enforcement at Super Bowl Rally and Parade: Safety First

The celebration of the Broncos' victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 is jam-packed with events beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow, February 9, and continuing into the afternoon, and the public is invited.

But they're not invited to smoke pot.

The press release about the festivities, included below in its entirety, sports a line that immediately lets a reader know the spectacle is taking place in Denver: "Alcohol and marijuana are prohibited."

But how strict will enforcement be?

The rowdiness downtown after the big win last night — riot-gear-outfitted police made twelve arrests and pepper-sprayed crowds — suggests that there'll be heavy scrutiny on the sort of alcohol use that fueled the excessive behavior.

In contrast, we've heard no reports about problems caused by marijuana users.

But public consumption of cannabis remains against the law, and the Denver Police Department is dedicated to enforcing the policy.

During last year's 4/20 weekend gathering, the DPD used a lighthearted tone on Twitter.

Here's an example:

However, department reps still issued 160 public-consumption citations anyhow.

Could even more tickets be handed out at tomorrow's rally?

Although City of Denver spokesman Dan Rowland won't offer predictions, he does make it clear that there will be other priorities beyond looking for people sucking on vape pens.

"I would never say it's a look-the-other-way approach," he stresses. "But keeping people safe in a big setting is always going to be the primary goal.

"There will be a lot of activity going on," he adds, "so police will be more focused on safety."

Adds Christine Downs, spokesperson for the DPDs: "Overall, the parade and rally is a family event, and we will monitor the event and respond appropriately to public consumption. And we want to remind everybody to celebrate responsibly."

Here's the press release about the parade.

Denver Celebrates with Broncos World Championship Parade

DENVER — The City and County of Denver and the Denver Broncos are proud to announce that the Denver Broncos World Championship Parade and celebration will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 to celebrate the Denver Broncos’ 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

The celebration and parade are free and open to the public.

The celebration will begin with a program of music and entertainment, including Colorado’s own Big Head Todd and The Monsters, 3OH!3 and Funkiphino, beginning at 10 a.m. in Civic Center Park. The World Championship Parade will kick-off at noon and is expected to arrive at Civic Center Park at approximately 1 p.m. An hour-long rally will follow featuring Denver Broncos players and coaches, Governor John Hickenlooper, Mayor Michael B. Hancock and other guests.

“We shocked the world! What a win! The Denver Broncos' perseverance and skill showed up tonight in a big way. With a sea of orange at Levi Stadium and Broncos Country across the nation zeroed in to support our team, the Broncos and fans really brought this one home together,” Mayor Hancock said. “And now, Denver is proud to partner with the Broncos for an epic celebration in downtown Denver on Tuesday! Let's welcome home that Lombardi trophy!"

The Denver Broncos World Championship Parade is presented by US Bank, VISIT DENVER and the City and County of Denver, with community partner support from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver Sports Commission, Centerplate, Epicurean Catering and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association.

For more information on the parade route, street closures and other celebration information, please visit Please note that Civic Center Park will be closed from 11 p.m. February 8 to 5 a.m. February 9. Spectators are reminded that as with any event of  this size, they are asked to NOT bring folding chairs or any seating devices. Items such as backpacks and large bags are also discouraged as these are subject to inspection by safety officials. Alcohol and marijuana are prohibited.

Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) Services will be provided at the event to provide real-time captioning of the program. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and utilize light rail and or other forms of public transportation. Portable toilets will be on site and available to the public. The City and County of Denver and Denver County Courts will remain open Tuesday, February 9. To access courtrooms in the City and County Building or for other city business related matters, the south entrance located along 14th Avenue will be open to the public.

Parade Features:

• Entire Denver Broncos team
• The Bowlen Family, Denver Broncos team owners
• Mayor Hancock, Governor Hickenlooper and other elected officials
• Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway
• Head Coach Gary Kubiak
• Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
• Miles the Mascot and Thunder
• Denver Broncos Stampede Drumline

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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