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420 ’08 Denver as recent history

2008/04/25
On April 20, about a thousand people came to Civic Center Park in a peaceful gathering to see and participate in the marijuana legalization movement. The weather was sunny and warm, a beautiful day for political protests and friendly socializing.

It was a day for family and friends.
Children played in the afternoon sun.

The term 420 has come to be associated with the movement for re-legalization of marijuana and with marijuana itself. Some say it’s derived from a tradition established when a group of students would gather to light up at 4:20 PM.
“Politicians lie!”
This man is saying that a DA mis-represented the consequences of a change in the law. Who’d have guessed? Legal advice was also proffered for anyone stopped and searched by law enforcement officers. Voter registration and voting was encouraged and petitions were circulated.

Some musicians provided more entertainment.
And if rap music and speeches weren’t enough, some people dressed up for the occasion.

Candidates for best-dressed?
He in casual suit and tie and she in body paint and cutoff jeans.

Several information tables were set up.
Most seemed to promote the medical use of marijuana.
The folks at the Cannabis Therapeutics booth insisted that I take a full picture of their stand.


People brought their four-legged friends…

both large…

and small.

Some people even brought their horses.

Of course, police were there.

I saw only two detentions while I was there.
This man is led away peacefully by a group of officers while the police videographer records the event.
There seemed to be more police than non-police with cameras.

This guy and your humble potographer were the only prominently camera-bearering non-uniformed citizens present.

Ambulances stood at the ready, just in case, parked on the southwest corner of the park. Their services were not required during my stay at the event.

Alignment with the political left is evidenced by the “Obama ’08” sign on the table in the lower left of this image. This seems to me to be a limiting factor in the success of the movement, a more broad-based approach is more likely to appeal to the more conservative and libertarian among us. After all, no less a conservative icon than William F. Buckley Jr. advocated legalization.

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