- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
420 Day has whole new meaning in Washington, Colorado
Question of the Day
|DENVER - Thousands of pot smokers plan to descend on Colorado and Washington this weekend for what may be the biggest marijuana celebration in U.S. history.
Saturday marks the first “420 Day” the unofficial pot lovers’ jamboree held every April 20, based on the slang identifier “420” since voters in both states passed initiatives legalizing adult use of marijuana in November. Although pot isn’t exactly legal in either state yet, that will not stop the weed-toking faithful from throwing bodacious parties.
“This year is going to be huge. It’s the first 420 in the post-prohibition world,” said Denver lawyer Rob Corry, who specializes in pot-related legal issues and campaigned for Amendment 64, the decriminalization measure approved by Colorado voters by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
As many as 100,000 people are expected to gather Saturday at Denver City Center Park for a rally featuring music, food, speakers and adult refreshments. A few blocks away at the EXDO Event Center, an estimated 16,000 have bought tickets for the sold-out Cannabis Cup, a two-day marijuana-brewing contest hosted by High Times magazine and featuring the rapper Snoop Lion, better known as Snoop Dogg.
Colorado is expecting a number of out-of-towners, thanks to newly launched companies like My 420 Tours, which plans to escort customers to cannabis-related events and hot spots.
Meanwhile, in Washington, about 1,500 are expected to attend “Seattle’s Largest 420 Party,” sponsored by Dope Magazine and billed as “an evening of cannabis culture, arts, music and fashion.” The festival also will feature the presentation of an award the Dope Cup for the best marijuana concoction.
Then there’s the 420Fest, a Seattle nightclub party featuring appropriately named bands such as Space Owl & the Herbivores.
“We have a lot to celebrate, a successful Hempfest, a new Hemp Boutique, and how about marijuana becoming legal in Washington?” says a flier for Saturday’s 10-hour event.
Fair warning to would-be 420-goers: Despite the November vote, marijuana isn’t technically legal in either Colorado or Washington.
For one thing, legislatures in both states are still drawing up regulations governing the cultivation, distribution and sale of marijuana for adults 21 and older.
Indeed, officials in Washington said Wednesday that they would spread out and thus delay their timeline for granting licenses, in order to give growers a better sense of the market. On Dec. 1, the Liquor Control Board will provide all licenses, which means growers can’t start until after then and legal weed won’t be ready until spring.
For another, even after the state rules are in place, the ability of states to decriminalize marijuana hinges on the Justice Department. Marijuana is banned under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and so far the Obama administration has yet to say whether it will look the other way when retail pot shops start opening their doors for recreational use.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in March that he would issue an opinion on the issue “relatively soon.” In 2009, the Justice Department allowed states whose voters had approved medical-marijuana initiatives to proceed despite the federal ban.
Whatever the outcome, don’t expect federal agents to break up the weekend festivities 420 Day has tended to enjoy a hands-off relationship with local law enforcement as long as the revelers maintain a mellow attitude.
“Our focus continues to be that of public safety with the folks that are there,” said Denver police spokesman Aaron Kafer.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Fast-food protests spur backlash
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Gay couple's complaint against Colo. baker gets hearing
- Fracking supporters fire back at 'woefully misinformed' celebrities
Latest Blog Entries
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.
White House pets gone wild!