The organizers of Denver's 4/20 rally filed an appeal on Friday to fight for their right to party once again next year.
Mayor Hancock criticized the rally for glorifying illegal public smoking, and the noise, and the trash. The city took away the organizers' permit. That does not mean another organizer couldn't arrange a 420 rally in 2018; the rescinded permit means these particular organizers cannot do so.
The organizers say denying the permit for next year is a free speech violation by city leaders who hate cannabis culture. In a letter to Denver Deputy Mayor Allegra "Happy" Haynes, the organizers' attorney Rob Corry writes:
"The Denver 420 Rally has been a substantial part of raising awareness and advancing progress against Marijuana Prohibition. Over the years, Denver’s 420 Rally has safely brought happiness to hundreds of thousands of participants and their friends. The Rally prompts conversations and promotes education of the people, leading to change...
"The Rally has spent over $2,000,000 throughout its history responding to the City’s requirements. The Rally brings well over that amount each year to the City of Denver and the State of Colorado in the form of tourism, jobs, revenue, and economic activity...
"The Notice Letter and attachments lack many supporting details, such as the identity of officials and police officers, times of allegations, copies of formal police reports, and other standard documentation that would be generated in any similar case, to the extent that it is difficult to respond to your allegations in a meaningful, substantive, or factual way.
You can read the full letter here, or down below.
Specifically relating to the issue of trash, the organizers say the park was properly cleaned within the time limits, and left cleaner than before the rally happened.
"In fact, the Run of Show (page 91 of 104 of Notice Letter), which, importantly, was reviewed and approved by the City in advance of the event, clearly shows that “Extensive Park Clean up – Power washing, etc.” was approved to occur on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 8:00am – 5:00pm. Complete clean-up was finished many hours before the City’s 5:00pm deadline on April 21, 2017."
"If you break down the city's filing against us, it is so petty, so trivial, just clearly manufactured in order to crush our free speech," Corry said, in an interview with Next, who does admit that some of the vendors didn't have proper licenses.
Corry is adamant that the rally does not encourage drug use there, and this is an argument about first amendment freedoms for a group that is disliked by a chunk of the population in Colorado.
Corry says Mayor Hancock has long-wanted to do away with the 420 rally. His decision to do so this year brought him support from conservatives, including Archbishop Aquila and the think tank at Colorado Christian University.
"With all due respect, I think Jesus is on our side on this one. I really do. If Jesus is walking the Earth, he is with us, walking the grass at the rally, not sitting in some fancy suburban office."
Kyle’s entire conversation with Corry is... spicy. He says some in the "professional cannabis community" want the 4/20 rally to disappear. He accused them of licking the boots of people in power to make money.
You can watch the full thing below. Click here if video does not appear.
Read the entire letter from Corry's office: