DENVER — Thousands of people converged on Denver’s Civic Center Park on Wednesday to celebrate 4/20. The event is held each year on April 20 to revel in the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.
Saturday’s official rally was postponed because of snow. Thousands of people were expected to attend. A crowd not as large as years past attended Wednesday’s event.
As the clock struck 4:20 p.m., a giant plume of smoke wafted into the sky. Somewhere in the haze was Wendy Turner, who brought her teenage son Coltyn to partake in the celebration.
As a boy, Coltyn was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
“Before we started, I was in a wheelchair, constantly in pain, four years behind in growth and it was horrible. I was on pharmaceuticals and I was basically on my death bed, writing my will,” Coltyn said.
At first, Wendy Turner said she was against marijuana and cannabis, but now praises it after seeing what it did for her son.
“I’d rather be illegally alive than legally dead,” Coltyn said.
Across the park, Marvin Hawkins was walking his granddaughter through the crowd on their way to the library. He wanted to take her there to study up on Native American peace pipes.
Although Hawkins doesn’t smoke, he believes children should be educated about marijuana and see it first-hand.
“If they know this now it will be a good lesson for later on, that’s for sure,” Hawkins said.
Of course, not everyone will agree. On Facebook, some parents wrote how disgusted they were by seeing children at the event. They called it “bad parenting.”
“I think it’s the parent’s decision, to be honest. Parent’s decision if they want them here or not,” said Joey Piele, who was at the event with friends.
Some parents were concerned children could get a contact high by all of the wafting smoke. Mothers such as Katelyn Groves disagreed. She brought her 3-year-old daughter with her.
“I’ve never seen an effect on her really,” Groves said.
The Denver Police Department said it was legal for parents to bring their children to the event because it took place in a public park. However, it would still be illegal to give kids marijuana or for adults to smoke it in public, which plenty did anyway.
Police said they issued 79 citations, with 64 marijuana-related.