4/20 rally permit holder fined $12,000, banned from holding events for 3 years

DENVER — The city of Denver has fined the permit holder of the annual Denver 4/20 rally about $12,000 and banned it from holding the event for three years, it was announced Saturday.

Rally organizers disagreed with the city’s ruling and promised a prompt appeal.

Denver Parks and Recreation announced it issued a letter to the permit holder advising of the event violations and penalties imposed.

It happened as a result of a review of this year’s 4/20 event ordered by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

The mayor said the event “experienced notable safety concerns and left the park in disarray.”

Civic Center Park was covered in trash on Friday, April 21, 2017, one day after thousands of people attended a 4/20 rally.

About 80 to 100 bags of trash were strewn all over the park in Civic Center Park one day after thousands of people attended the pro-marijuana festival.

At the time, the event producer said all of the trash from the rally had been bagged for pickup the next morning but during the night, someone slashed the bags and spread the trash all over the park.

After the rally, Hancock said the event was “under-resourced and presented numerous safety hazards.”

“After a thorough review of the event, substantial violations of city requirements were found,” said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation.

“We will continue to ensure that events in our parks are safe, compliant and of high quality, and we remain focused on protecting Denver’s parks and facilities which are valuable assets to our city and our residents.”

“DPR is imposing a monetary penalty in the amount of $11,965, an additional $190 in damages, banning the event holder from being granted any event permit for three years, and rescinding their priority event status.”

“The 4/20 Rally disagrees that it committed any substantial or intentional violations and will promptly appeal this finding,” permit holder Miguel Lopez said in an email.

“Anything identified in Haynes’ letter as a violation is of a hyper-technical nature, and no actual problems, permanent damage, nor injuries occurring from the Rally.”

Lopez said organizers followed all laws and permit conditions, and trash removal occurred within the specified time.

“We left the park cleaner than we received it,” he said.

The permit holder has the right to appeal the decision within 15 days of the notice.