This weekend, Denver will have a faint odor of burnt marijuana all around town due to this Saturday’s “4/20” rally in Civic Center Park. This is the first major marijuana event in Denver since voters approved Amendment 64 by a narrow margin last November. The constitutional amendment made personal marijuana possession and private consumption legal under state law. More than 50,000 attendees are expected.
Also in Denver, at the EXDO Event Center, the High Times Magazine Cannabis Cup will be held. This is the first time the event has been scheduled in the United States, as marijuana possession has been illegal before in all 50 states. At the Cannabis Cup, marijuana connoisseurs will vote on the best marijuana strains in categories like Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, and Hash. There will also be glassware, vendor booths, and marijuana-based products for sale.
Attendees to the event should be warned that they could still get into a legal jam if caught consuming marijuana in public, such as in the park during the event. “Using marijuana in public and any marijuana possession or consumption by people under 21 is still against Colorado drug laws,” warns criminal defense attorney Jay Tiftickjian. “Even though the events are focused on marijuana, the Denver police Department will surely be out in full-force looking to nap folks for smoking marijuana in public, providing marijuana to minors, and for stopping motorists suspected of drugged driving, or DUI-D.
In addition to the 4/20 rally in Civic Center Park, there will be many pot-themed events and concerts around the state. In addition, a local travel agency has themed a travel excursion to Colorado with packages that include cannabis cooking demos and excursions to medical-marijuana dispensaries and cultivation grow houses.
With these events and the national buzz about Colorado’s marijuana laws (no pun intended), one has to wonder whether Denver will be the new Amsterdam. Actually, in some ways, Colorado’s Amendment 64 is more liberal than Amsterdam’s pro-marijuana laws because in Colorado, adults can grow up to six plants for personal use while Amsterdam does not allow growth for personal use.
Jay Tiftickjian is a defense attorney in Denver. He can be contacted through his law firm’s website at www.criminallawdenver.com.