60,000 Chill Out at Giant Marijuana Bash


     DENVER (CN) – Denver police watched peacefully Monday as potheads celebrated the annual 420 Festival by lighting up in front of the state Capitol.
     Though recreational pot smoking is legal in Colorado, smoking in public is not. But that didn’t stop the roughly 3,000 celebrants who helped close down the city’s festival at Civic Center Park.
     City police took a benign view, standing on the Capitol steps watching the festival below, but staying out of the park.
     The Police Department tweeted a few warnings, in a friendly tone.
     “We’d prefer not to be buzzkills,” one tweet stated.
     “We see you rollin’, but we ain’t hatin’ – seriously though, #Denver, please remember to #ConsumeResponsibly.”
     Why April 20 – 4/20 – has become an international day of marijuana is a question for folklorists, but the day has become big business for marijuana-friendly Colorado. More than 60,000 people attended this weekend’s party, which went off without any major stress.
     “It’s pretty great,” said one partier, who asked to remain unnamed. “Everybody’s just having fun. Stoners are the most chill people you can bring together, really.”
     Some stoners brought an agenda: flaunting public consumption as a political protest for people who were jailed before marijuana legalization, and have yet to be released.
     Others used the festival to promote their marijuana-oriented businesses.
     “They’re definitely looking at them,” Charles Lopez, the owner of Masterpiece Metal Art said as partiers admired his art. Most of the pieces, some with Colorado or Broncos themes, are in the shape of marijuana leaves.
     “We’re here trying to get some numbers,” Lopez said. “If we sell these, that’ll be beautiful.”
     Marijuana dispensaries and grow houses were the big commercial players this year, such as Grow Big Supply, a grower supply warehouse. Founded in 2011, it advertised with big joint balloons decorated with its name and contact information, floating above the crowd.
     “We get customers all year round since we’re the only 24-hour business like this,” employee Andrew Rosencrans said, holding the cords that kept the floating joint from flying over the golden dome of the capital. “But this definitely helps.”
     The crowd dispersed from the Capitol at around 6 p.m., heading to the last events of the extended weekend, Snoop Dog’s Wellness Retreat concert on Fiddler’s Green, and Denver’s biggest marijuana trade show, the Cannabis Cup.

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