Marijuana rally as legislature opens session: Miguel Lopez shifts location after permit denial

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In January 2010, Mile High NORML staged a pro-cannabis rally across the street from the State Capitol in conjunction with the opening day of the legislative session. But when advocate Miguel Lopez filed a permit to repeat the feat this year, his application for the same location was denied. Although Lopez initially threatened legal action against the city, he found another way to make a rally happen today: He shifted locations. Details about the 10 a.m. event below.

Here's a copy of a November e-mail sent to Lopez by Rita Lambert, the state's parking & permit programs manager, rejecting his initial application.

From: "Lambert, Rita"

To: Miguel Lopez

Sent: Wed, November 17, 2010 8:20:33 AM

Subject: Permit for January 12th


Your permit request for the January 12th event (Denver 420 Rally, Mile High NORML...) at Lincoln Park has been denied. January 10th through 14th are the events involving the inauguration for the new Governor, State of State speech, etc., and due to security issues we are not allowing additional permits on the West steps or Lincoln Park during that week.

If you'd like to talk to our Property Manager for further information or explanation, please contact Richard Lee at richard.lee@state.co.us or 303-866-3838.

Rita Lambert

State of Colorado

Central Services/Capitol Complex

Parking & Permit Programs Manager

This rejection meant Lopez had to organize his event even as he sought approval from the city for a new location -- the Greek amphitheater at Civic Center Park. And officials eventually signed off, although not until yesterday, when Lopez finally got a copy of the form giving him the go-ahead.

Look below to see Lopez's release about the event, featuring a complete itinerary, as well as photos from the 2010 rally.

Miguel Lopez press release:

Marijuana Address to Legislators 2011

Civic Center Park

Greek Amphitheater

Denver, CO -- January 12, 2011 -- On Wednesday January 12, 2011, Miguel Lopez from the Denver 420 Rally will be holding a demonstration called the Marijuana Address to Legislators 2011. The General Assembly was late in making the required regulations for medical marijuana, which were supposed to have been done within five years of the law being enacted. As a result of heavy lobbying from Matt Brown, Betty Aldworth, Brett Barney, and Kevin Grimsinger as well as deal making with Josh Stanley, what emerged were the over regulated bills HB 1284 & SB109.

The focus of this year's event is to address the patients, small business including the individual caregiver(s), with respect to the grassroots initiatives and the original beliefs and intent of the medical marijuana movement. The designated speakers will speak to the problems with HB1284 & SB109 2010, which have been ignored by legislators as well as address the need for the making patients care a priority, and a priority that is not influenced by the lies from lobbyists and greedy special interest groups.

A major issue at hand includes law enforcement access to the Medical Marijuana Registry database system which is a civil liberties & HIPAA violation. We are also against the proposed bill that would bear a huge burden on health and police officials plus those relating to DUID to draw blood on those measuring up to 5 nanograms of T.H.C. in their system. We do support Senator Steadman's reasons to "clean up" some the other problems such as reducing the FELON RESTRICTION TO 5 YEARS, the 35 day rule and much more to be discussed at the rally on January 12, 2011.

Schedule of Events and Speakers

10:00 a.m.-Noon: Gathering Time & Music

12:00-Noon: Native Blessing -- Antionette Redwoman

12:30-3:00 pm: Speakers

Attorney Robert Corry Jr

Dr. Bob Melamede, Professor of Biology and President CEO of Cannabis Science

Vince Palazzotto of MMAPR

Dr.Kimberly Matteo

Mr. Miguel Lopez, Assembly , Community & Historic April 20th (4/20 Rally) Organizer

Willam Chengalis U.S. Marijuana Party of Colorado

Capn Cannabis

Marshelle Oliver

Morgan Gale

Chloe Villano

After the speakers there will be the second Marijuana off the Steps and into the House lobby tour of the Colorado State Capitol.

Please be advised that on January 13, 2011 is the Governors' State of the State address. Please arrive dressed with marijuana themed t-shirts in a silent and peaceful protest by 8 am as seating in gallery is limited in the order in which you arrive.

Photos from last year's rally:

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana: Colorado Springs zoning rule would force closure of 69 MMJ centers."

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