Thousands gathered over the weekend in the nation’s first state to legalize recreational marijuana in an attempt to go mainstream with the traditional pot holiday, April 20th, or 4-20.
Colorado was inundated with people this weekend for the state’s cannabis-themed festivities that included an expo called the “Cannabis Cup” at the expo center which included panel discussions on topics from making marijuana-infused foods to growing pot plants, concerts which included mainstream musicians such as Slightly Stoopid and Snoop Dogg, and a competitive marijuana strand-picking contest organized by High Times Magazine.
The festivities put Denver on the map as one of the largest outdoor gatherings of bong burners in the United States, although public consumption of marijuana remains illegal.
This year marked the first year of the holiday’s major transformation. What started out as a budding, defiant, gathering of a few pot activists has bloomed into an official event with city permits, organized by an events management company, and occupying public spaces.
Although yesterday’s assembly started off somewhat slow and awkward, seeing that Resurrection Sunday was backlit (no pun intended) with the wafting spell of burning cannabis, event organizers and festival-goers alike were excited for the holiday-420, the marijuana holiday, specifically.
Gavin Beldt, one of the organizers, said in a statement that the event is now a “celebration of legal status for its use in Colorado and our launch of an exciting new experience for those attending.”
Although the largest, Denver was just one the many cities across the country where 420 marijuana celebrations were planned Sunday.
According to the Huffington Post, in Trenton, New Jersey, speakers urged a crowd of about 150 gathered at the statehouse to push state and federal lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize marijuana and called on Governor Chris Christie to do what he can to help medical marijuana patients.
In San Francisco, Police Chief Greg Suhr said his officers would be cracking down on illegal parking, camping, drug sales, underage drinking and open alcohol containers at Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill. Officials in the state said they did not want want the unofficial pot holiday to disrupt Easter Sunday activities in the park.
In Washington, thousands celebrated in the only other state to legalize marijuana. Events included a Snoop Dogg show Saturday night as well as an event sponsored by Seattle’s Dope Magazine, with a $99 “judge’s pass” available that included 10 marijuana samples.
As more states push to decriminalize recreational marijuana, events like those held in Denver become bigger, better, and more organized.
Something tells me organizers are already brainstorming on how to top this year’s event.
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