Police enforce marijuana law at 4/20 rally

DENVER - It was the first 4/20 celebration since recreational pot sales became legal in Colorado and tens of thousands of people descended on Civic Center Plaza for the official 4/20 Rally.

Denver Police said, unlike 2013's rally, this year there were few incidents and no injuries. DPD said they issued 130 citations/arrests, mostly for smoking pot in public.

"I love the fact that they legalized it," said Anthony "4Tay" Forte, who drove to Denver from San Francisco. Recreational sales of pot are legal in Colorado, but public consumption of it is not. DPD issued far more citations than at last year's rally, but it was also a far cry from the violence that marred it then, too. "The fact that no one was injured based on what we saw last year, I think this was a good weekend for the city, that no one was injured," said Denver Police Spokesperson Sonny Jackson.

At 4:20 p.m., though, it seemed there was little Denver Police could do as the crowd lit up. A spokesperson said officers used discretion this weekend in their enforcement.

"At 4:20 people did smoke, but throughout the day, we tried to keep a lid of things, keep things under control but we said we would exercise discretion as we went through this weekend," Jackson said. For those at the rally, though, the day was all about celebration the legal sale of recreational marijuana in the state. "This is a celebration of how far Colorado has come," said George Peele of Denver.

However, not everyone was happy about the unofficial pot holiday. "I am very concerned as is my organization that this weekend's activities glorify and celebrate getting high," Rachel O'Bryan of SMART Colorado. Organizers of the 4/20 rally said they have learned from experience and plan to be back out again on the next 4/20.

"Mostly it's important to us—more than anything, walking into tomorrow, saying we had less than a handful of issues, going into 2015, we can do it again, do it bigger," said Gavin Beldt, one of the 4/20 rally organizers. Denver Paramedics said they responded to 30 calls for medical assistance: 18 people were taken to the hospital and four to detox. Paramedics said most of the calls had to do with people using too much marijuana.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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